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Healthy organic milk deserves more support

Healthy organic milk deserves more support

Green MP Ian Ewen-Street says the government should make a greater commitment to supporting organic milk production following a report by Welsh scientists confirmed the health value of the product.

Environmental Research, in Aberystwyth, has showed that organic milk contained two-thirds more Omega 3 essential fatty acids compared to the ordinary white type of milk. Britain's leading co-operative for organic dairy farmers, OMSCo, is now calling on their Food Standards Agency (FSA) to recognise the health benefits of its organic milk. The compounds are essential for good health and play an important role in maintaining the heart, fending off the effects of arthritis and developing the brains of children.

"This research confirms the health value of organic milk and shows that our conventional farmers should give serious consideration to conversion," said Mr Ewen-Street, the Green Party Spokesperson on Agriculture and Organics.

"Questions must be asked however as to whether New Zealand, given the importance of the dairy industry to our economy, should be taking a greater lead in this type of research.

"New Zealand's government should be committing increased funding to organic research and be recommending organic products, such as milk, as part of a healthy diet." The research, led by Dr Richard Dewhurst, found that samples of milk from organic cows contained at least 64 per cent more Omega 3 than conventional milk. Dr Dewhurst said: "Our previous research has shown that milk from cows fed with clover can contain up to 240 per cent more Omega-3 fatty acids than milk from cows fed grass and concentrates. Organic dairy farmers feed much higher levels of clover because they use it as an alternative to using synthetic chemical fertilisers to ensure lush pastures."

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