- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
I buy alot of organic foods, not keen on the idea of ingesting too many persticides, more importantly anti-biotics. Interesting though that 'technology' may be helping the environment more than the 'old ways':
Organic farming 'no better for the environment'
By Cahal Milmo
Published: 19 February 2007
Organic food may be no better for the environment than conventional produce and in some cases is contributing more to global warming than intensive agriculture, according to a government report.
The first comprehensive study of the environmental impact of food production found there was "insufficient evidence" to say organic produce has fewer ecological side-effects than other farming methods.
The 200-page document will reignite the debate surrounding Britain's £1.6bn organic food industry which experienced a 30 per cent growth in sales last year.
David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, drew a furious response from growers last month when he suggested organic food was a "lifestyle choice" with no conclusive evidence it was nutritionally superior.
Sir David King, the Government's chief scientist, also told The Independent he agreed that organic food was no safer than chemically-treated food.
The report for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs found "many" organic products had lower ecological impacts than conventional methods using fertilisers and pesticides. But academics at the Manchester Business School (MBS), who conducted the study, said that was counterbalanced by other organic foods - such as milk, tomatoes and chicken - which are significantly less energy efficient and can be more polluting than intensively-farmed equivalents.
Ken Green, professor of environmental management at MBS, who co-wrote the report, said: "You cannot say that all organic food is better for the environment than all food grown conventionally. If you look carefully at the amount of energy required to produce these foods you get a complicated picture. In some cases, the carbon footprint for organics is larger."