It was swiftly criticised for not looking into the negative effects on health of the agrichemicals in non-organic food. It's kind of like saying that as neither of the two people in front of you is patting you on the head they're being identically nice, because we haven't looked down to check if one of them is kicking your shins.
The Soil Association took issue with the report, citing - from the studies used by the report itself - positive nutritional differences for organic food. But they, and the reporting in general, miss the major point. There are other very important reasons to eat organic.
As a nation, we're used to food health scares. In the wake of botulism, salmonella and all the rest we were sold GM crops as a possible threat to the wellbeing of those who eat it. It's certainly something to be looked into, but the indisputable detrimental effects of GM crops are corporate control of the food supply and - what even the pro-GM governments trials proved - the detrimental effect on wildlife.
By the same token, non-organic farming is not just a health issue for those eating it today. When, some time in the next generation or so, we pass the point of peak oil and the price rockets upward forever, we're going to need alternatives. The oil-derived agrichemicals we rely on for today's bumper monoculture harvests are going to become prohibitively expensive. Developing advanced organic methods is a sound investment for keeping our cupboards full in future.
It's not just giving ourselves a headstart of good techniques either, it's also preventing regression. Conventional farming uses vast quantities of artificial nitrate fertilisers. About a third of them are actually consumed as food. The rest enters the nitrogen cycle on the land and water. This run-off is having a major impact on biodiversity.
Organic methods rely on interaction with wildlife, by comparison conventional farming assaults it. Destroying biodiversity today hobbles our ability to use it for organic methods in future.
And by the way, how come farming practices that are only used in some of the world, and even then are only two generations old, are 'conventional' and everything else is, by implication, unconventional?
Do agribusiness folks have a different dictionary to me?
The first time I stood in an organic vineyard I knew it was different. There were flowers growing between the rows of vines, flowers in full bloom. The air was alive with the sound of buzzing insects, insects that lived among the flowers, zooming around the vines searching out the pests that prey on grapes.
I was witnessing nature's system of checks and balances in full operation. The vines themselves turned their leaves to the sun, with a sheen on the leaves I hadn't seen in conventional vineyards. Above all, there was a different atmosphere - of life, of vitality. It was such an exciting moment.
- Hilary Wright, The Great Organic Wine Guide
There is another very major reason to eat organic. A significant amount of those fossil-derived nitrate fertilisers breaks down into nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 298 times stronger than CO2. Eating organic means less climate change.
Far from being a selfish health fad, it's about promoting a responsible method of food production for all and tackling the most urgent crisis we face. And it gives us an opportunity to do that with every meal we eat.