Letter : 'Organic' cows might have eaten dangerous cattle feed too

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Your feature on organic milk and profile of Richard Lacey ("Mad about bad food", 11 August) omit important issues.

Most UK beef (like BSE) originates from the dairy industry, which turns out too many calves for milk quota controls. The system overworks the dairy cow which is driven to the limits of exhaustion, being in calf and full lactation for over half the year; accordingly, her susceptibility to disease is high. Many are kept for much of the year in tiestalls or stanchions.

The enormity of the business is to be condemned and customers should be more restrained in their demands: 1lb of "vegetarian" cheese can be as objectionable as 1lb of beef. Cows' milk is for baby calves not for cattle, still less for humans. The subsidies lavished on the industry would be better directed towards farming that is kinder to people, animals and the environment.

Alan Long

Vegetarian Economy and Green Agriculture (Vega)

Greenford, Middlesex

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