The BBC has been criticized by a sustainable farming think-tank for what it describes as ‘misleading’ and ‘simplistic’ assertions about organic farming in the broadcaster’s Bitesize GCSE revision guides.

Science for Sustainable Agriculture (SSA), an online policy and communications platform, challenged the BBC over statements such as ‘organic milk and beef are produced without using antibiotics’; ‘organic farmers … do not apply pesticides to their crops’; and ‘many farmers are turning to organic farming as consumers opt to buy chemical-free [sic] food’.

Writing to BBC director general Tim Davie, the SSA said these statements are ‘either factually incorrect or disputed in scientific literature’.

The group also drew issue with a statement made by the BBC that ‘many people object to intensive farming because it reduces biodiversity and increases pollution’.

The letter calls on Davie to have the content ‘corrected’ or removed from Bitesize, suggesting that the educational resources instead focus on ‘inspiring young people with the potential to use scientific and technological innovation to make our future farming systems more sustainable’.

“It is vital that future generations are guided by the science, not by outdated doctrine and ideology. That way we have the best chance of feeding an increasingly hungry, warming planet in the most sustainable way.”

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Having spent the early part of career putting her BA (Hons) in Media Writing to use as a freelancer writer across a number of industries – from wellbeing, food and travel to design and events – Rosie Greenaway’s post as editor of Natural Products News and Natural Beauty News began in 2017. In 2018 she co-launched NPN’s 30 under 30 initiative, is a regular presenter and speaker on industry panels, is a judge of several awards schemes in food and beauty (from the Soil Association’s BOOM Awards to the Who’s Who in Green Beauty Scandinavia) and acts as an Advisory Board Member for the Sustainable Beauty Coalition.