NFU slams scaremongering

by 5m Editor
7 October 2004, at 12:00am

UK - English Nature and RSPB have today commented on the possible biodiversity benefits of organic farming. The survey conducted by scientists from the two organisations argues that the greatest threat to worldwide biodiversity comes from modern agriculture. The real picture is not as clear or definitive as they claim.

The arguments of English Nature and the RSPB are undermined by their own scientists. The caveats in the research state that: such studies face methodological problems, which limit their ability to draw quantitative conclusions; their knowledge of the impacts of organic farming is limited; and more research needs to done to fill in the gaps in their knowledge. It would appear difficult at best to draw any conclusions from research with so many caveats.

Other research from the RSPB highlights that millions of birds each year die because of cat predation, starvation and the weak and sickly condition of hatchlings.

The NFU backed the Government’s ‘Organic Action Plan – Two years on’, which was launched in August. Indeed, the NFU urged the Government to build upon the plan by improving consumer access to organic produce and promote growth in the organic sector. Non-organic farmers are also participating in schemes such as Countryside Stewardship to promote biodiversity.

NFU Deputy President, Peter Kendall said: “Such scaremongering, based upon pretty flimsy evidence, only serves to undermine the partnerships needed to achieve real progress. The NFU is fully behind organic farming and recognises the benefits it can bring. Farmers in both the organic and non-organic sectors are making real progress in tackling the environmental issues we all face.“

Source: National Farmers Union - 7th October

5m Editor