The UK government food watchdog, the Food Standards Agency, has published a new report on organic food.
“Let’s stop this tomfoolery once-and-for-all about organic food being better for you,” seems to be the subtext.
In its attempts to convince us we are wrong to trust our senses (including common sense and sense of taste), the Food Standards Agency has had to undertake some mind-bending contortions. See for yourself – the actual report is here.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) claims to have conducted an exhaustive review of all the literature comparing organic and non-organic produce in the last 50 years.
Perhaps the FSA managed to keep its numbers low by omitting studies. It conveniently left out:
- studies on contaminants such as pesticide residues (see pic)
- studies examining the environmental benefits of organic farming
- results of a major European Union-funded study involving 31 research and university institutes and the publication of more than 100 scientific papers earlier this year.
“With these literature reviews you can influence the outcome by the way that you select the papers that you use for your meta-analysis…My feeling – and quite a lot of people think this – is that this is probably the study that delivers what the FSA wanted as an outcome.”
The FSA could find only eleven studies that fitted its meta-criteria.
I am no scientist, but since when was eleven a big-enough sample to draw conclusions?
The fact is we need more research on the nutritional differences.
But I don’t want my tax spent on a biased analysis.
The FSA has a reputation for being hysterically anti-organic and pro-GM.
This report is making me think its rep is live and kickin’ again.
Addendum 19 September 2009