Letter: Third Way to hell

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The Independent Culture
Sir: It is good to see somebody of the scientific standing of Professor Trewavas debunk the so called benefits of "organics" (letter, 22 June). He could have added that "artificial" or "chemical" fertilisers have been used to supply basic plant nutrients on farms and gardens for well over 100 years.

My father, born in 1894, gardened for much of his life, using mainly "artificials" such as sulphate of ammonia, superphosphate and sulphate of potash. As a healthy, growing family we were glad of his home-grown efforts, especially during the Second World War, when he even tried growing his own tobacco.

Lady Eve Balfour, founder of the Soil Association in Suffolk, first started telling gardeners that "artificials" were wrong immediately post-war. Some took to what she said; many did not: the point is that they had a choice. Nowadays this is not enough for the Soil Association, allied with others like Friends of the Earth and the Green Party. We must be made to eat or use only what they perceive is good for us.

GEOFFREY ELLIS

Great Barton, Suffolk

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