The scientist who concluded that organic food is no healthier than conventional produce has been bombarded with abusive messages from zealous environmentalists.
Dr Alan Dangour, a nutritionist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, revealed that hundreds of people had contacted him since his work was published, with many accusing him of dishonesty and incompetence in emails peppered with swear words.
“A lot of them have been unpleasant reading,” said Dr Dangour, whose controversial study found no evidence that organic food was significantly healthier than food produced using chemicals.
“They were saying I’m a quack (and that) I should do something else and stop wasting my time, but also a lot of stuff saying I must have been funded by Monsanto or big industry.”
The academic said that, although he was not upset by the correspondence, he was surprised by the strength of feeling on the issue. His research, funded by the Food Standards Agency, could hit the £2bn-a-year organic industry, which is already losing sales in the recession.
Research shows that nine out of 10 British shoppers buys organic, but the debate has long raged about whether it is healthier for shoppers as well as better for the environment.
Dr Dangour’s study, published last week in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has polarised opinion between those for whom it has confirmed long-held suspicions and those who believe it was one-sided.
Source: The Independent
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