Organic milk is healthier than standard milk and this should be reflected in official advice, according to a group of scientists.
The 14 prominent scientists, who were led by three academics from the University of Glasgow, wrote to the Food Standards Agency that organic milk has higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, long associated with increased health benefits.
AdvertisementThey expect a change in stance of the FSA on organic milk, and "recognize that there are differences that exist between organic and non-organic milk".
So far, the FSA's official position on all organic food has been that it is not much different from non-organic food. An FSA spokeswoman said: "On the basis of current evidence, the agency's assessment is that organic food is not significantly different in terms of food safety and nutrition from food produced conventionally."
As to whether there would be a change in the FSA's stance on organic milk in light of the new evidence was too early to say , according to the spokeswoman.
She said: "The agency has not yet seen the detail of this research, but we will certainly study it carefully in the usual way, seeking independent expert advice as necessary." Dr Kathryn Ellis, Dr Monika Mihm and Dr Giles Innocent, from the University of Glasgow lead researchers of this study cite the differences of their research, compared to other studies.
The researchers say they found higher levels of the important fatty acids in organic milk in their study of 36 UK farms. In addition the scientists point out that the ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 in organic milk is better for health, as UK diets tend to contain too much Omega 6 compared with Omega 3.
Their letter, addressed to Dame Deirdre Hutton, chairman of the FSA, said: "In our opinion, previous statements by the Food Standards Agency regarding the lack of difference in composition between organic and non-organic milk would now appear to warrant revision in relation to milk produced in the UK."
Although the Glasgow study was sponsored by the Organic Milk Suppliers Co-operative, it was carried out independently.
Dr Ellis said she hoped that writing to the FSA would bring her research to the attention of consumers. She said: "We very much hope the FSA will come back to us directly and give us a response and hopefully they will agree with our research."