Memorandum submitted by Mr John Whetman
I am delighted to hear that there is to be an
investigation into this aspect of farming and growing, for it
is long overdue. I have no direct interest in the matter, as we
do not grow or sell organic produce, so my opinions are not prejudiced.
It is time the criteria by which organic growing
is judged. At present they are not scientific, they are arbitrary,
and they are illogical. For instance certain insecticides, fungicides
and fertilisers are approved, some of which are potentially quite
dangerous to both growers and consumers, whilst other which could
be highly beneficial, are banned. To anyone with any basic knowledge
of crop husbandry they are a nonsense. Added to this nonsense
is the fact that different supervisory bodies have different standards,
and some 85 per cent of the produce consumed is imported from
countries with even more dubious standards and very little supervision.
The result is that the consumer is being deceived.
Organic food is perceived as being better than ordinary food.
It is not. It is perceived as being safer. It is not. It is perceived
as being more healthy. It is not. It is perceived as having more
flavourit is all in the mind!
On the foundation of these unsound criteria
a whole industry has been created, the public has been fooled
into paying too much for its food, and become neurotic about its
12 May 2000