Apparently the nine organisations which have been given the power to control standards by Defra, including the Soil Association, have allowed transgressions, such as ordinary cows being brought into organic dairy herds. And milk has been sold as organic after the cows have spent only a few months living as the original animals.
Poultry farmers have been allowed to bring in non-organic birds. Cows, pigs and sheep have been brought on to organic farms to ‘bulk up’ numbers, where there were cases of shortages of animals bred organically from birth, or a farmer wants to try a new breed, or increase the herd or flock’s genetic diversity.
Research has shown there is little advantage or health benefits from eating organic as opposed to traditionally produced food. In reality, much of the food labelled organic is not, and as far more food is labelled organic, than is genuinely produced, it makes probably makes little difference. The real crime is that those who believe they are giving their families value for money and a healthier option, are sadly doing neither. They are however, paying inflated prices for produce which is no better than traditionally grown farm produce.
Worldwide Intensive farming and mass processed food is another matter. Each production unit or factory will have differing standards, including welfare and additives. And in these cases there is no doubt you get what you pay for. The price comparison between organic and supermarket ‘value’ products can range from: chickens at £2.50/kg to organic £6.70/kg, milk £1/ 4 pints to £1.80/ 4 pints, and eggs 70p/half dozen to £2/half dozen. The price of traditionally produced meat, milk, eggs and other products will fall somewhere between the two, and can be found locally in farm shops, independent high street shops and farmer’s markets.
The EU should perhaps turn its attention to matters of more importance, and leave farmers to manage their own farming methods. We are regularly inspected within an inch of our lives by Defra ‘inspectors’, so it is unlikely that much gets past them.
What is certain is that all food which is brought onto farms, to feed livestock now contains some GM soya or other cereals. But this too will make very little difference to the livestock, other than to those who believe they can remain true to the organic cause.
It is reported that councils which have reduced dustbin collections from weekly to three weekly bin collections, believe there is no connection between leaving rubbish, including food waste, rotting outside our back doors for weeks on end, to the increase in complaints from householders about rat and mice infestations. What do they not understand?
Councils should consider ceasing to supply up to six dustbins per household, which clutter back gardens and alley ways, and return to weekly collections. All separation of rubbish could be carried out mechanically at depots, resulting in happier ratepayers, disappointed rats and mice, but who cares, and the cost of dealing with domestic rubbish would be reduced dramatically.
Rodent populations in and around farm buildings go with the territory, and unless we are vigilant and keep up a regular programme of control, they can become a real problem.
From April baiting products will come under new stewardship conditions, for use by professionals, including farmers. The UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime has been developed by the campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use, and has been announced by ‘the Health and Safety Executive’!
Farmers must now hold certified proof of competence in rodent pest control before being allowed to buy and use certain rat control products. One hundred rats can eat their way through a tonne of grain a year, spread disease and cause structural damage. It is therefore essential that farmers do not have extra red tape and bureaucratic nonsense preventing them from controlling these vermin.
Talking of rats, it is disappointing that David Cameron is set upon persuading the electorate to vote to remain in the EU despite not having achieved any of his promises including; cutting immigration, repealing the Human Rights Act, protecting our sovereignty, repatriating powers from Brussels, stopping EU migrants from claiming child benefits from British taxpayers for children living abroad, and waiting four years for benefits.
If Mr Cameron wants to go down in history as a great Prime Minister instead of being a disappointment, he should now admit his failure and take the lead in the Vote Leave campaign, instead of urging MPs to ignore the views of members of the Conservative Party who were instrumental in securing his success last May.
The direction that Pied Piper Cameron, is currently leading us, if successful, will surely put the final nail in the coffin of this great nation, as we are sucked deeper into further integration within a federal Europe.