Monday, August 17, 2009

United Kingdom's Food Standards Agency Report on Organic Food

Capitol Press published an article last week titled Study slams organics that seemed to purport that the UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA) had done a study that found that organic products were not nutritionally superior to conventionally produced food products.

Actually the FSA report is only a literature review that examines 162 articles that were published in peer-reviewed journals from Jan. 1, 1958 to Feb. 29, 2008. It is merely a review of the available and credible published data. It does not examine environmental impact or pesticide use. It does nothing more that compile the data that has been gathered to date. More than any kind of judgement of organic and non-organic growing, it is a review of only what has been studied about nutrition in this field to date.

Evidently, some have misconstrued this and interpreted the study as a condemnation of organic farming. The Capitol Press article interviews producers from Washington, Oregon and California who principally argue against reaching these other conclusions. The study never advocates one product over another and repeatedly states the limits of the study and why it was undertaken. It could be the springboard for more investigation because it evaluates and condenses the information that has been available in a more scattered fashion. One of the reasons it was undertaken was because of the rising global demand for organic food.