Organic food consumption may not help prevent cancer

June 2, 2014

A study published in the British Journal of Cancer shows that there is little or no decrease in the incidence of cancer associated with consumption of organic food. With the exception of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, there was no clear evidence that organically-produced foods are less likely than conventionally produced foods to cause cancer.

The researchers examined the relationship between the reported frequency of consumption of organic food and subsequent cancer incidence, both overall and for 17 individual cancer sites or types in a study of 623,080 middle-aged women in the United Kingdom. At baseline, 30%, 63%, and 7% of women reported never, sometimes, or usually/always eating organic food, respectively. When researchers followed up with these woman nine years later, compared to the women who reported never eating organic food, there was actually a small increase (1.37%) in risk of breast cancer in women who reported always eating organics.

The researchers concluded that “in this large prospective study there was little or no decrease in the incidence of cancer associated with consumption of organic food, except possibly for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.”

Abstract