TheCrop Protection Association (CPA) has released the following statement inresponse to the University of Newcastle studyclaiming that there are statistically significant, meaningful differences incomposition between organic and non-organic crops.
Nickvon Westenholz, CEO of the CPA said: Whilst this study points to slightlyhigher levels of antioxidants and lower levels of pesticide residues in organicproduce when compared with conventional these differences are relatively small,for example, a typical residue of 0.1mg/kg is equivalent to a fly on a ten ton truck.
Whatis important is that people have a healthy, well-balanced diet which is high infruit and vegetables, whether conventionally grown or otherwise. In regards topesticide residues, year on year, results show that no consumers are exposed toresidues at levels that threaten their health. Regulators have repeatedlyconfirmed that low levels of residues in food are safe for consumers.
Over97% of UK farms are conventional and these farms produce crops that arehealthy, affordable and safe. It is important that consumers arent givenunnecessary cause for concern that may lead to them questioning the safety oftheir food and reducing their consumption of fruit and vegetables as a result,potentially causing a health deficit. The use of pesticides in conventionalagriculture can support healthy choices by ensuring we have access to a safeand affordable source of fruit and vegetables.
Weare currently facing up to a global food security challenge which requires usto feed a rapidly growing population whilst making the most efficient use ofnatural resources. Organic farming is a lower-yield agriculture (studiesindicate that organic yields are 34% lower when conventional and organicsystems are at their most comparable) and this means that more un-cropped landwould need to be brought back into production in order to maintain or increaseyields, with clear consequences for wildlife and the environment.
Pesticidesand conventional agriculture are part of the solution and not part of theproblem with regard to sustainable production, food security and healthydiets.