The government’s consultation on future farming policy in England ended last week. Many see it as a unique opportunity to make some positive changes - not least in the provision of information about differences in quality and production systems, says PETER MELCHETT of the Soil Association
A new study sets out the huge benefits of organic farming to people and the environment, writes Peter Melchett, including more wildlife, healthier consumers and farm workers, lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduced soil erosion and increased water retention. We need more of it, fast!
The European Parliament just voted to re-authorise glyphosate, writes Peter Melchett - but with significant restrictions on its use. So what does the vote mean for the world's biggest selling herbicide? And how come the UK's National Farmers' Union welcomed the decision as an unqualified victory?
BASF are to halve their GM research and development and reduce the time spent on developing these technologies, writes Peter Melchett. Given the many problems that GM agriculture is facing, and that new non-GE technologies offer such valuable benefits as increased crop yields, does BASF's announcement spell the beginning of the end of GM crops?
The way food is produced has a profound impact on its nutritional profile, according to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition. Not only is organic farming better for animal welfare, the environment and wildlife, writes Peter Melchett, but organic meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables all have tangible health benefits for the people who eat them.
Almost all our food is grown in soil, writes Peter Melchett. Yet we are treating it like dirt: spraying it with toxic chemicals, depleting vital nutrients, and releasing its carbon to add to climate change. With World Soils Day coming up tomorrow, let's change our ways - and renew our commitment to organic food and farming.
Following scientific confirmation of the severe hazards to health caused by residues of glyphosate weed killers in food, the Soil Association is calling on bakers and retailers to stop 'pre-harvest' spraying on arable crops. The SA's Peter Melchett just sent out this letter - adapt as necessary and send to retailers, bakers, makers of cereals, pasta, biscuits and others.
The discovery of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in pork products in UK supermarkets is a call to action, writes Peter Melchett. We must end the unhygienic farming practices that only work with constant antibiotic use, and reserve the most valuable antibiotics for human use only - or face a world in which routine surgery and infections bring serious risk of death.
The Food for Life 'Catering Mark' is bringing fresh, healthy and local food into schools, hospitals and canteens, writes Peter Melchett - while driving big increases in the volume of organic food we eat, and growing the market for organic farmers and local food producers.
Lord Krebs, self-appointed spokesman for industrial agriculture, used the Oxford Farming Conference to attack organic systems for causing more climate change - a claim as demonstrably false as it is ludicrous, writes Peter Melchett. But across the city, the upstart 'real farming' conference was showing the way to a cleaner, greener and healthier future.
Organic farming has changed, but for the better, writes Soil Association head of policy and Norfolk organic farmer Peter Melchett. As never before, organic inspections are central to the delivery of environmental and animal care, and food you really can trust.
The pro-GM lobby has sought to take the 'scientific high-ground' by positioning itself as the voice of reason and progress, while painting its opponents as unsophisticated 'anti-science' luddites. In a scathing response Peter Melchett turns the tables