Eating organic food reduces risk of some cancers, controversial study claims

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A French study published in the JAMA [Journal of the American Medical Association[ Internal Medicine journal links eating organic food to a lower risk of developing cancer.

In a population-based study of 68,946 French adults …. a significant reduction in the risk of certain types of cancer was observed among high consumers of organic food, compared to infrequent consumers.

The researchers …. asked participants to report their intake of organic foods across 16 product categories. This was then translated into an organic scorecard, with scores ranging from 0-32 …. The cohort was followed for seven years to investigate the incidence of cancer.

[B]etween 2009 and 2016, 1,340 new cancer cases were recorded and validated on the basis of medical records. A 25% decrease in cancer risk across all types was observed among “regular” consumers of organic foods compared to more casual consumers …

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[Editor’s note: To learn more about this study, please see this critique and a separate report on the study and understanding chemical risk by the GLP’s Jon Entine, here.]

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Associate Professor Rajaraman Eri, Head of Biomedical Sciences in the School of Health Sciences, College of Health and Medicine, at The University of Tasmania, [said] …. “This study establishes a good case for organic food consumption in lowering cancer risk but further research needs to be carried out before specific health advise can be provide to people in general.”

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However, Prof Tom Sanders, Professor emeritus of Nutrition and Dietetics at King’s College London, was more sceptical.

“…. The participants who reported eating organic food most frequently were more likely to be non-smokers, had a lower body mass index …. and drank less alcohol, all factors that would be expected to result in fewer cases of cancer …. Their conclusion, that promoting organic food in the general population could be a promising cancer preventive strategy, is overblown.”

Read full, original article: Organic Consumption Associated with lower cancer risk: French Study

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