Letter: Organic future

Sir: Felix Rohatyn, the US ambassador in Paris, states in his Podium article "Don't be scared of modified food" (20 January) that "American farmers have seen their income suffer as a result of the abundance of global supply and the resulting drop in commodity prices". Food in the US is the cheapest it has ever been in the 20th century.

He goes on to say that "we consider the results of biotechnology used in farming to be extremely promising ... biotechnology has increased output". If that were true, it would have increased "abundance", made the food cheaper and made the farmers suffer even more. It would have also further threatened the environment and human health.

What is true is that the booming sector is organic farming, growing faster than either telecommunications or computers, at 25 per cent a year. If current growth rates continue until 2010, the organic share of agriculture in western Europe will increase from 5 per cent to 30 per cent and be worth pounds 75bn a year. Organic farming is free of genetically engineered products.


Greenpeace Campaign Director

London N1