Voice of agribusiness attacks organic
and drink in biased report
Ever since it was founded, the Food Standards Agency has been an outspoken critic of organic farming and the food and drink it creates. The FSA is clearly biased in favour of agribusiness, whose activities in Mexico are directly responsible for swine flu.
Today's "independent" [sic] report produced for the FSA finds there is no greater nutritional value in organic food than conventional food. This is risible. The report beggars belief as it excludes from its findings the use of pesticides, fertilisers and other agro-chemicals and yet it's the use of these cancer-causing chemicals that is the major cause for concern among organic farmers and consumers.
Remember the famous Sainsbury's lettuce that had been washed 16 times and yet still contained traces of chemicals? A few years ago, the head brewer at Hardy's & Hansons brewery in Nottingham said that even after washing and cleaning he still found chemical traces in his hops. He had stopped buying English hops and had switched to American suppliers. That was a loss to English famers and the British economy.
The use of chemical sprays is not only bad for consumers but also harmful to the environment. Research has shown that spraying hops kills predators such as ladybirds that attack spiders and other pests that damage hops. If untreated grass is allowed to grow at the foot of hop bines, predators will settle there and feed on spider mites and other pests.
For me, there's a subjective attitude in this. Some years ago, a close friend of mine in the brewing industry stopped his car to check under the bonnet. He was alongside a field that was being sprayed with chemicals from a crop-spraying plane. The plane passed over my friend and drenched him in chemicals. He died some years later after a long struggle with cancer.
On a more objective note, I trust this absurd report from the FSA will not stop the growing number of organic beers being produced in Britain. They are good for the countryside and good for drinkers.