Tuesday, 4 August 2009

MSP Quizzes Food Agency on Pesticides

For immediate use;
Tuesday 4th August 2009

Highlands & Islands MSP Rob Gibson has queried the Food Standard Agency's latest figures on organic food after revealing that they failed to include pesticide residues in their nutritional study of organic and conventional food. He said he was baffled by the omission when the main reason families buy organic is “to protect the environment" particularly when figures showed that almost half of “conventional” food bought by consumers contained significant traces of pesticides.

Mr Gibson, who will be attending the Black Isle Show this week, will now be urging agricultural show-goers to ask the agency why pesticide residues were excluded from their recent study on organic and conventional food. The MSP pointed out that the organisation will have a stand at this week’s show at Muir of Ord.

Mr Gibson, a co-convener of Holyrood’s cross-party group on food, said:

“The FSA needs to come clean about the real differences between organic and conventional food production.

“Their report last week showed no nutritional differences between the two, but excluded contaminant content such as herbicide, pesticide and fungicide residues from the desktop review.

“The SNP Government has won wide support for a national food policy, based on the natural methods widely practiced in this country.

“We need no muddying of the waters by the FSA, which has given the nod to GM animal feed, while undermining confidence in natural food.

“Surely the body charged with food safety has to explain how its muddled behaviour affects the aims of Scotland’s national food and drinks policy.”


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