Supermarkets accused over organic foods

UK - Supermarkets are putting pressure on organic food watchdogs to lower standards so they can fully exploit a billion-pound industry which is growing by 30% a year, according to leading figures in the movement.
calendar icon 6 October 2006
clock icon 2 minute read

Fears that organic farming is falling victim to commercial pressures to abandon key principles have led to disputes in the Soil Association, the gold standard of the groups that certify "green" products.

Lawrence Woodward, a pioneer of the organic movement and a former head of the association, told the Guardian many producers were taking advantage of grey areas in the regulations for organic farming, and the public were being conned.

"There are lots of loopholes in the regulations and in practice these are being heavily exploited," said Mr Woodward, who is now chief executive of an organic food research foundation. "Organics is increasingly becoming industrialised and the consumer will one day wake up and see this stuff is not what they think it is."

The issue of lowering standards has caused a split in the association, particularly over the licensing of salmon farming as organic.

Source: The Guardian

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