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UK industry seeks less “organic” influence on policy

Highlighting the fall in the UK of sales of organic food and conversion rates for organic farmland, the UK Crop Protection Association (CPA) has called upon policy makers to give less weight to the views of the organic farming sector over the direction of agriculture and farming policy. It criticises the sector’s “anti-science” stance in its opposition to food irradiation, the use of pesticides, and its fear campaign about the development of genetically modified crops. Such a stance would close the door on scientific innovations and technologies that would be key to feeding a growing population, coping with climate change and safeguarding resources, it says. “For too long the anti-science agenda of the organic movement has influenced the direction of agriculture and food production policy,” declares CPA chief executive Dominic Dyer. Figures from the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs last month revealed a 2.8% fall in the land under organic crop cultivation in the UK ( Agrow No 622, p 12). Sales are down by a quarter since 2008, the CPA says.

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