Deploring that a product bearing the AB label costs much more than a conventional product, the magazine denounces “the weighty marketing argument” that has become the precious sesame. “At a time when food scandals are linked, the logo is a Grail. Yet it is far from flawless “, underlines the magazine’s assistant editor, Christelle Pangrazzi, citing several abuses, such as the exploitation of immigrant workers in the fields or the use of oil palm, authorized despite the fact that its culture contributes to deforestation.
However, she adds, “by opting for organic, the consumer should have the guarantee of purchasing responsible from a nutritional, ecological or ethical point of view”. According to figures revealed on Tuesday by Agence Bio, organic now represents 5% of French food purchases, with nearly 10 billion euros in turnover. L’Agence Bio also notes the strengthening of the weight of large-scale distribution, which now markets half of organic products, while until last year, specialist shops led the dance. Direct sales retained a 12% market share in 2018 (+ 12.8%). Given the weight of the sector on the consumer side, “the time has passed for mountains of promises, however organic they may be,” concludes Ms. Pangrazzi.
Among the 130 products tested by the magazine: milk, muesli, spread, apples, but also wine, meat or fish. Thus, some eggs and milks contain more organic pollutants than their conventional counterparts, or even organic olive oils contain plasticizers, in particular phthalates. Finally, says the magazine, “cakes, spreads or organic prepared meals contain as much sugar, fat and salt as non-organic products”.
The magazine, edited by the National Institute of Consumption (INC), also points to several points for improvement: the use of fertilizers and pesticides, intensive exploitation, the negative carbon impact of off-season fruits, sale under plastic of some organic fruits and vegetables etc. In addition, adds the special issue, “nothing prevents the (organic) farmer from settling on contaminated soil or near a source of pollution (dioxins, PCB)”. An assertion that the National Federation of Organic Agriculture (FNAB) noted on Wednesday morning: “while the organic label imposes strong production requirements on peasants, their animals, their fruits, their vegetables are exposed to pollution which surrounds us, more than animals raised in battery or fruits and vegetables above ground, “she said in a statement to AFP.
“The fight against air, soil and water pollution must become a priority for the government to ensure a healthy and sustainable environment for all of us.” “It is not for organic peasants to bear the brunt of the pollution generated by others, the polluter pays principle must apply”, explains Guillaume Riou, president of the FNAB quoted in the text, who, by the way, does not respond to other reviews of 60 Million consumers. Finally, the magazine recalls that “to eat exclusively organic is a utopia, for economic reasons, but also because all the food is not available”.