Sunday, August 21, 2005

Organic food: is there a material basis?

I thought this quote in today's Observer was illuminating. Is organic food chemically different from conventionally-produced food?

"Figures from market research agency Mintel suggest three out of four households now buy some organic food and environmental groups said fraudulent activity within the industry must be stamped out for the sake of customers and legitimate farmers.

'It is not right consumers are paying over the odds because of fraudsters,' said Vicki Hird, Friends of the Earth's food campaigner.

'These people are causing economic damage to other businesses who are playing by the rules,' said Jenny Morris of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

There are fears an increasing amount of 'organic' food is coming in from overseas making it difficult to establish its provenance.
'There are no tests for proving food is organic,' Morris said. 'So it comes down to traceability, you have to follow a paper trail.'"

Britain's organic food scam exposed, Observer, 21 August 2004

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