Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

THE foot-and-mouth crisis has spawned plenty of cod theories about agriculture, but few quite as dramatic as that tabled by the Plaid Cymru MP for Ceredigion, Simon Thomas. He is so convinced that organic food is the solution to the countryside's woes that he has introduced a private member's Bill to force us all to eat it. Under the Organic Food and Farming Targets Bill, by 1 January 2010 one-fifth of all food eaten in Britain would have to be organic, and one third of all agricultural land would have to be given over to organic production. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods would be empowered to ensure that the target is met.

There are plenty of arguments in favour of organic food, some of which, like the argument that it is kinder to the soil, are open to debate, others of which, such as the assertion that it tastes better, are entirely subjective. There are also some arguments against organic food: animals bred in wholesome, outdoor conditions are more liable to spread diseases such as footand-mouth. …

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