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Balanced diet desirable regardless of farming method

WHEN reading an article like that of Oliver Moore’s (Farming, May 15) I always ask one question.

Is the author a university-qualified nutritionist with an established scientific career based on peer-reviewed publications in food and nutrition, and does he sit on specialist committees that provide advice on food and nutrition to the Government? Or is the author instead merely a member of an organic association who believes organic food must be better and that any supposed (but unlikely) difference in organic and conventional food must indicate the organic desirability?

In this case, it is the latter option and while recognising Mr Moore is entitled to his opinions, they are of negligible value as recommendations on what the public should or should not eat. The general recommendations of European food standards agencies is for people to eat a diet balanced between cereals, meat or fish and fruit and vegetables regardless of farming method. Used with discretion, that diet, whatever the farming origin of the produce, will provide for optimal health and longevity.

Anthony Trewavas

Professor in Plant Biochemistry

Institute of Molecular Plant Science

Edinburgh EH9 3JH



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