Food activists have a long and illustrious history of bending (or flat-out ignoring) science to advance their agendas (Exhibits A, B, C, D, and E). But it’s not every day that we catch one actually admitting there’s no proof for his pet issue. Imagine our surprise today when the BBC quoted one of Britain’s most vocal organic-only food activists:
Science doesn’t tell us the answers so some of it we have to go on feelings.
The proud owner of that doozy is Soil Association policy director and former Greenpeace UK chief Peter Melchett. (The Soil Association describes itself as Britain’s "leading environmental charity promoting sustainable, organic farming.") Melchett was responding to recent scientific reports from the British Nutrition Foundation and the UK government’s Food Standards Agency, both of which conclude that there isn’t enough evidence to support the claim that organics are nutritionally superior to conventional foods.
Our longstanding position on organics has been pretty straightforward: The science is inconclusive at best, but if consumers want to pay a premium for the illusion of "purity," that’s their choice. The problem comes when agenda-driven activists mislead the public about what is and isn’t good for their health. And in Melchett’s case, his own 890-acre organic farm also earns him several million reasons to make his feelings your feelings.