Letter: Science at bay

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Professor Trewavas (letter, 22 June) trumpeting the importance of scientific endeavour, brings out the old chestnut about increased fungal toxins in organic products. We are unaware of any reliable studies to suggest that organic foods have higher levels of such toxins.

Conventional farming controls them by fungicides, organic farming by different strategies like crop rotations, and any research should take account of this. There are plenty of good reasons, from wildlife loss, organophosphate use, antibiotic use and BSE, to support organic agriculture.

More significantly, GM food is capable of contaminating alternatives like organic. Even the Government's own research points to the need, as Greenpeace has been saying, to make a choice between organic and genetically modified agricultural trajectories. Consumers are already voting with their wallets. This is in part a consequence of bitter experience when "scientific" assurances have been given, on inadequate evidence, that things have been safe.

Dr DOUGLAS PARR

Campaign Centre Director

Greenpeace UK

London N1

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