Letter:Safe cows Sane cows

The standards for organic beef and dairy herds do allow the use of a proportion of feed concentrates that are not of organic origin but these feedstuffs must still only contain plant protein. Since it is the Government's claim that it was animal protein which caused BSE, it cannot be right for you to suggest that organic cows might have eaten dangerous cattle feed too (Letters, 18 August).

As a trustee of the Soil Association, which is the certification body for much organic food, I am aware that a dispensation on origin of feedstuffs does seem contradictory. However, ethical aspirations always come up against reality and there is still too little plant protein of organic origin produced to meet demand.

The solution lies in the hands of the many farmers in Britain who should shrug off their addiction to agrochemicals and start producing organic food and feedstuffs that are increasingly finding a market.

Mark Fisher

Shipley, West Yorkshire