FSA report fails to deter consumers from organic

The majority of consumers still believe organic food is healthier than non-organic, despite a report to the contrary released by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), according to a Marketing Week online poll.

Rachel’s
Rachel’s: Part of a lobbying group

Almost 70% of respondents answered “yes” when asked if they still believed organic food was healthier than non-organic food.

The FSA released a study last month claiming there was no significant differences in the nutritional content or any additional health benefits of organic food when compared to conventionally produced food.

Organic food brands are hitting back and plan to launch a marketing campaign extolling the benefits of eating organic.

Led by lobby group Sustain, companies including Green & Black’s, Yeo Valley and Rachel’s Organic hope to raise £500,000 and then apply for the equivalent amount from the European Union to launch a £1m campaign.

Organic producers also pointed out that the report did not take into account the use of pesticides in non-organic farming.

However, FSA chief executive Tim Smith says the use of pesticides was specifically excluded from the study because they are already rigorously assessed and “do not pose an unacceptable risk to human health and help to ensure a plentiful supply of food all year round”.

The research was carried out by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

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