For years I have been writing — most recently in a dedicated entry in The Truth about Food — that despite my general enthusiasm for organic food, and the environmental benefits of organic farming, direct evidence of human health benefit from organic food is very scarce and quite elusive. That’s all still true this week, but with a noteworthy addendum. A study just published in JAMA Internal Medicine associates routine consumption of organic food with reduced cancer risk.
The researchers from France followed nearly 70,000 people for 10 years, lending the study great statistical power. They assessed the frequency of intake of diverse foods available in organic and conventional versions, creating a 32-point scale. They found significantly lower rates of cancer overall — a relative reduction of 25 percent on average — among those with the highest as compared to those with the lowest frequency of organic food intake.