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Use Of Synthetic Growth Compound In Organic Chicken Feed Creates Confusion In Australia

November 1, 2010: 07:36 AM EST

A decision by Australia’s largest organic certifying body to allow use of a synthetic growth enhancer in organic chickens has created both controversy and confusion. At the root of the problem is the pressure on organic farmers to produce bigger chickens faster. But the country’s independent organic certifiers agreed last year to exclude synthetic amino acid isolates, such as DL-methionine, from chicken feed. Now the Biological Farmers Association, which owns Australian Certified Organic – the country’s largest organic certifier – wants the agreement changed, and methionine reintroduced, saying the industry has no choice, despite consumer confusion over the issue. “These things are essentially needed and there's no alternative that would bring the same outcomes,'' a BFA official said. Methionine is banned in Europe and is being phased out in the U.S.

Melissa Singer, "Who comes first: the chicken or the organic food buyer?", Illawarra Mercury, November 01, 2010, © FairfoxMedia
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