17 August 2001

Organic myths row

MYTHS about organic farming are being peddled by the National Office of Animal Health and Scottish Crop Research Institute peddle, claims a new report.

The study, by the Soil Association and food campaigners Sustain, singles out organisations it says are guilty of attacking the organic sector.

It says claims damaging to the organic movement do not arrive in newspapers by chance, but are generated by groups with interests to defend. NOAH, the trade body for the animal pharmaceutical industry, has members including Monsanto Europe and Novartis Animal Health.

The report, Organic Food and Farming: Myth and Reality, sets out to "counteract the myths spread by opponents of organic farming". It says organic food is safer than non-organic food, better for the environment and a more sustainable option for the future.

Soil Association head of communications, Adrian Long, said the report aimed to provide the facts that proved the critics wrong. "Many of our critics have a vested interest in trying to destroy the trust that the public rightly have in organic food," he said.

But NOAH communications manager, Alison Glennon, said the accusations stemmed from complaints made by NOAH about a Soil Association leaflet called Five Reasons to go Organic. "The point we were making was a lot of the claims they were making were equally applicable to conventional farming," she said. &#42