'Organic Food Safer and Better' Call for More Research Funding

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Byline: AMANDA BROWN and JO WILLEY

A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that organic food is safer and better for consumers than non-organic food, according to a report being launched yesterday.

The document, Organic Farming, Food Quality and Human Health, unveiled by the Soil Association, calls for more research but says consumers wishing to improve their intake of minerals and vitamin C while reducing their exposure to potentially harmful pesticide residues and food additives, should choose organic food wherever possible.

Soil Association director Patrick Holden said: "This report contradicts Sir John Krebs, head of the Food Standards Agency, who said last year that there was not enough information available to be able to say that organic food is nutritionally different from non-organic food.

"On average, we found that organic crops are not only higher in vitamin C and essential minerals, but also higher in phytonutrients, compounds which protect plans from pests and disease, and are also beneficial in the treatment of cancer.

"These findings, coupled with health concerns linked to pesticides, antibiotics, GMOs, nitrate and additives occurring in non-organic foods, suggests increased government support for organic production could have significant health benefits in addition to the environmental benefits already proven. …