Thursday, 31 March 2016

 I write in the hope that some people may learn the truth that Organic Foods offer the consumer no real benefits and only imagined greater food safety when in reality Organic Foods can be considerably more hazardous than the products of modern scientific technology. 
 When one dares to try and communicate on this today, it is essential to define what one means by ORGANIC. To the chemist organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds most of which are associated with the phenomenon of life. If you ask a layman one gets definitions varying from home grown, to natural, or non-synthetic. Others want something like food untainted by modern technology including Genetically Modified. But today almost all food is tainted by modern technology after the farm gate using processes like canning, or purification processes used with  sugar, salt or water, or other processing like oats or corn flakes. Perhaps most of us are trying to say “grown on the farm using only methods of about 100 years ago” i.e. no “modern fertilisers” or insecticides and sticking to methods that were used by farmers of those days and their forefathers?
 Why are so many consumers demanding “organic food”. Does this make them feel safer by abandoning modern technology, possibly on the lines of “Father forgive them for they know not what the do”? Perhaps these people forget that the industrialists and their children also eat the food produced by modern efficient agriculture and post-harvest technology and that the food industry is not hell bent on destroying its customers. Again people forget that safety is a relatively new concept which has developed in the last 100 years or so and it is a driving force in all aspects of life. Safety in the work place, safety on the roads, safety in the home , safety in travel are all driving forces of everyday life as is FOOD SAFETY. Also the people developing new methodologies or technologies to feed the expanding world population are even more concerned about food safety than the man in the street because knowing more, they are better placed and better qualified to anticipate and prevent problems than the man in the street.
  One of the facts of organic farming is that it is far less efficient than modern farming. Losses due to insect infestation and weeds are serious and don’t  believe that they use no chemicals to overcome the problems. Soap sprays, tobacco, sulphur, and copper sulphate (blue stone) sprays were used 100 years ago and are therefore permitted today. In fact the list of CHEMICALS permitted to ORGANIC FARMING is about 100 long and depends on the various country’s legislation. Then the organic farmer is not allowed modern fertilisers, only compost and manure. Well when you think about it this means that all the organically farmed  products should be far more highly contaminated with nasty bacteria like salmonella or listeria and mycotoxins from molds picked up from the compost and manure, than are products of modern farming methods.   
There is talk of organic products being more nutritious than those from modern farming but so far there has been no peer-reviewed verification of these allegations. True, all farming does remove trace metals and other nutrients from the soil but by using modern fertilisers the farmer can simply replace any losses and at the same time produce healthier plants and higher yields.
Dr. Bernard Cole. 1 April 2016.