This article by Lyndsay Moss follows recent findings that organic food really is better for you. Drinking organic milk during pregnancy and while breastfeeding is a very simple and worthwhile way to help prevent your child developing allergies. The article is below.

"MOTHERS who drink organic milk during pregnancy and while breastfeeding could help their babies avoid allergies, research suggested yesterday. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that organic dairy products might help children fight off asthma, eczema and other allergies.   The researchers, from Maastricht University's Louis Bolk Institute, suggested the conditions could be avoided if children also drank the milk.

Children who drank organic milk and whose mothers drank organic milk during pregnancy had a 36 per cent lower incidence of eczema than those using normal dairy products.

Previous research has shown that organic milk has higher levels of vitamin E, omega 3 essential fatty acids and antioxidants.

Studies also suggest milk from pasture-fed cows may contain more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) - a type of fat which might protect against health problems.

Professor Carlo Leifert, from Newcastle University and leader of the EU Quality Low Input Food project, said the study showed that the difference in organic milk translated into raised CLA levels in breast milk and a reduced chance of eczema.

"This is the first example of a definite health impact of organic food consumption being published in a peer-reviewed journal," he said.

Peter Melchett, policy director at the Soil Association, said the findings matched people's experiences of organic food, with fewer cases of eczema among children.

He said: "Given the evidence that organic food has more beneficial nutrients, and the absence of harmful additives, common sense suggests that organic food is better for your health."

But Claire Williamson, a nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation, said more research was needed to confirm the benefits of organic food."