Azara Blog: David Miliband says organic food is a "lifestyle choice"

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Date published: 2007/01/07

The BBC says:

There is no evidence organic food is better for you than conventional food, minister David Miliband has said.

The environment secretary said organic food was more of a "lifestyle choice that people can make".

There is no "conclusive evidence either way" concerning the health effects of pesticides, he told the Sunday Times.

The Soil Association, which regulates organic food, said studies show a difference between organic food and food produced using industrial methods.

It was critical of Mr Miliband's suggestion that food grown with the use of pesticides and other chemicals should not be regarded as inferior.

Mr Miliband: "It's only 4% of total farm produce, not 40%, and I would not want to say that 96% of our farm produce is inferior because it's not organic."

He said despite the rise in organic sales being "exciting" for shoppers, they should not think of conventionally-produced food as "second best".

Peter Kendall, president of the National Farmers' Union, added that he had seen "no evidence" to prove organic food is healthier.

"If there's a small but growing percentage of consumers who want a different product, then that's a great opportunity for members," he said.

"But I have a real problem with conventional methods being demeaned at every opportunity."

Unbelievable, someone in government has actually said that the Emperor (here in the guise of the Soil Association) has no clothes. Miliband is pretty much correct, so-called organic food is mostly a "lifestyle choice". It is for the comfortable middle class who want to convince themselves that they are morally superior to the working class, because they can spend more on food. (And why should it even be up to the Soil Association, which is completely unaccountable, to decide what is and is not "organic"? It's a money-making racket.)

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