Miliband claims that
food grown with the use of pesticides and other chemicals should not be seen as
second-best, adding that the choice for organic foods is simply a "lifestyle
"It's only 4% of total farm
produce, not 40%, and I would not want to say that 96% of our farm produce is
inferior because it's not organic."
Milibands views have
outraged some of the region's most respected producers.
Colin Anderson, a Bellingham
organic livestock farmer, is challenging Miliband to visit him and experience
the difference for himself: "Organic farming reduces exposure to chemicals used
in sprays and fertilisersâ€¦animals are reared humanely, allowed to forage in
natural pastures and no chemicals, pesticides or GM are usedâ€¦We don't want to
put other farmers downâ€¦we are proud of what we do and what we produce."
Ian Sutherland, organic farmer at
Rock Midstead, accuses Miliband of "huge generalisation" on green produce.
NFU county chairman for
Northumberland and organic farmer, Carron Craighead, said: "We stand by the
quality of our produce, but organic farming is still a niche market and there's
no conflict with conventional farmers. Miliband needs to justify his comments
National Farmers Union (NFU)
David Miliband blog on Defra
European Commission: Organic farming
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