Letter: Hidden costs of intensive farms

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The Independent Online
Sir: Replies to Prince Charles's call for more natural sustainable farming methods ("BSE is an offence against God, says Prince Charles", 20 September) repeatedly claim that food produced intensively is cheap.

However, it is not cheap when the hidden costs of factory farming are taken into account - for instance, the cost of removing pesticides from the water supply. There is the cost of compensating farmers with taxpayers' money after food crises such as salmonella and BSE.

Most government subsidies go to intensive farming, with only a tiny fraction to help natural organic farming.When all is taken into account,chemical farming is not cheap at all.