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French study shows organic food is healthier

by David Masters
September 21, 2009
Sustainability Environment

Organic food is better for you, according to a new report from the French food agency.

The AFSSA report claimed organic plants product more dry matter, minerals and anti-oxidents.

Between 94% and 100% of organic food did not contain any pesticide residues, while organic vegetables were found to contain 50% fewer nitrates.

The report contradicts claims earlier this year by Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) that organic food has no health benefits.

Denis Lairon, author of the AFSSA report, said his team of researchers carried out an “exhaustive and critical evaluation of the nutritional and sanitary quality of organic food”.

Key to the study’s findings were dry matter minerals such as iron and magnesium, Lairon said, which were found to be more prevalent in organic plants.

Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA) agreed with Lairon’s analysis.

Shane Heaton, BFA nutritionist, said: ““Contrary to the recently released [FSA] review, this review does the question justice by comparing not just a handful of nutrients but also dry matter content, antioxidant content, pesticide levels, and nitrate content. Organic wins out over ordinary food in every respect.”

The FSA, however, dismissed AFSSA’s findings as “based on a small data set”.

An FSA spokesperson said a comparison between the two studies is “difficult” because of the different research methods used.

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