A BRITISH agency which produced a report claiming there was no real health benefit to eating organic food has been accused of being biased against the organic sector.
The organic movement is furious the report claimed organic food offered limited nutritional advantages to conventional food, but failed to take in to account the effect chemical residues had on consumers of conventional food, or other reasons consumers chose organic, such as taste, animal welfare and sustainability issues.
"All they've ever done is put out anti-organic reports ... (and) the report is inconsistent with the data they've used," he said.
"The last two and a half years have seen about 45 peer-reviewed studies published comparing organic with conventional - when they do good comparisons it shows organic food is clearly more nutritious, particularly when you look at the antioxidants and cancer-protecting agents."
Mr Leu said the number one reason consumers gave for choosing organic was concern about chemical residues, rather than nutritional benefits.
The report comes a week after calls for comprehensive chemical testing of fruit and vegetables in NSW, where it was revealed up to five per cent of produce regularly exceeded maximum chemical limits.
Biological Farmers of Australia standards committee convenor Dr Andrew Monk questioned the logic of a study into organic which did not consider chemical issues.
He called on consumers to use "commonsense".
"If you buy from a farmer not using chemicals, who looks after their soils, on average you're going to get a better quality product," Dr Monk said.
He said it had taken 50 years to convince the public smoking was bad for consumer health as the pro-smoking lobby had produced contrary reports.
Meanwhile ignorance is butchering the organic meat movement, according to consumer group Choice.
The group's investigation found nearly two-thirds of butchers pass on incorrect information about organic meat to customers.