11 January 1999
Prince teams up with organic lobby

By FWi staff

SUPPORTERS of organic farming have joined the swollen ranks of amateur gardeners and fans of a radio comedy by naming the Prince of Wales as their royal patron.

The pro-organic Soil Association said yesterday (Sunday) that Prince Charles had agreed to become the organisations royal patron.

The announcement came on the final day of the Soil Associations Organic Food and Farming Conference attended by more than 600 delegates in Cirencester, Gloucestershire.

Prince Charles is already patron to over 100 other organisations, including the Gloucestershire Root, Fruit and Grain Society and the Goon Show Preservation Society.

He is a well-known supporter of organic agriculture and an outspoken opponent of genetically modified (GM) crops.

The Prince is also said to be considering screening companies for their policies on genetically modified food before allowing them to hold his Royal Warrant.

The Independent on Sunday reported this weekend that the suggestion was made in an e-mail sent by a member of the public to the Princes website.

A section of the website detailing the Prince Charles thoughts on biotechnology has drawn responses from across the world, many of them agreeing with his views

Last year Prince Charles launched an outspoken attack on GM food, accusing the multi-national companies involved of taking “mankind into realms that belonged to God and God alone.”

The Soil Association welcomed the Princes comments, expressing delight that he was willing to voice his views in public.

But the National Farmers Union said producers had to meet the needs of all consumers, not just those who were opposed to GM crops.