Last week, the UK Consumers' Association published a report on the British organic food market in which it claimed that the high price of much organic food was lulling consumers into believing - incorrectly - that organic food was somehow healthier than its traditional counterpart.
Not surprisingly, the Soil Association, the leading promoter of organic food in England and Wales, has responded angrily to these claims.
"The price of conventional food is kept artificially low through farming subsidies, reliance on pesticides and forcing animals to develop at unnaturally high rates. There are many hidden costs associated with non-organic farming: water companies spend £120 million annually cleaning agro-chemicals from the water supply, and the BSE crisis (the result of practices not allowed under organic standards) has cost £4.5 billion," it said in a statement.
"A major part of the Soil Association's work is campaigning for the amount of organic imports to be reduced and we always urge consumers to buy UK organic food wherever possible.
"Independent research has shown that certain organic food contains higher levels of vitamin C, magnesium, iron and phosphorous. The food additives that have been linked to heart disease, osteoporosis, migraines and hyperactivity are not allowed under organic standards," it added.
It also refuted claims made by one British newspaper that the Which? report had been backed up by new laboratory research assessing the nutritional value of organic and non-organic processed food, saying that no such study had been carried out.