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Greenhouse Gases

Volume 455: debated on Friday 26 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department has (a) conducted and (b) commissioned research on the comparative contribution to the release of greenhouse gas emissions of conventionally grown food crops and organically grown foodstuffs. (117279)

Defra funds a large amount of research on the measurement and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

Two recently published Defra-funded research projects have included an examination of the greenhouse gas emissions from the production of conventionally and organically grown crops and foodstuffs. ‘Determining the environmental burdens and resource use in the production of agricultural and horticultural commodities’ was published in September 2006. The study included a comparison of the environmental burdens arising from the production of ten key commodities using a range of farming methods (including organic).

‘Environmental Impacts of Food Production and Consumption’ was published in January 2007. The objective of the project was to compare available international life cycle information on top-selling food products to achieve insights into the environmental impacts of a representative selection of food products commonly purchased in the UK.