Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Food & Beverage Analysis
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Eating Organic Food Doesn't Lower Overall Cancer Risk

Published: Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Last Updated: Friday, April 11, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Women who always or mostly eat organic foods have the same likelihood of developing cancer as women who eat conventionally produced foods.

Kathryn Bradbury and colleagues in Oxford's Cancer Epidemiology Unit found no evidence that regularly eating a diet that was grown free from pesticides reduced a woman's overall risk of cancer.

The researchers asked around 600,000 women aged 50 or over whether they ate organic foods as part of the Million Women Study. They looked at how many of the women developed 16 of the most common types of cancer in a nine year period following the survey. Around 50,000 women developed cancer in this period.

The scientists found no difference in overall cancer risk when comparing 180,000 women who reported never eating organic food with around 45,000 women who reported usually or always eating organically grown food.

When looking at the results for 16 individual types of cancer they found a small increase in risk for breast cancer but a reduction in the risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma in women who mostly ate organic food, although these results could be partly due to chance and other factors. The results are published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Study author Professor Tim Key of the University of Oxford said: 'In this large study of middle-aged women in the UK we found no evidence that a woman's overall cancer risk was decreased if she generally ate organic food.'

Pesticides are widely used in agriculture and there are concerns that they could increase the risk of cancer but so far the evidence has not been strong enough to give us any clear answers. Conventionally grown fruit and vegetables sometimes contain very small amounts of pesticides but there is no evidence that these small amounts increase the risk of cancer in people who eat them.

Cancer Research UK's health information manager Dr Claire Knight said: 'This study adds to the evidence that eating organically grown food doesn't lower your overall cancer risk. But if you're anxious about pesticide residues on fruit and vegetables, it's a good idea to wash them before eating.

'Scientists have estimated that over 9% of cancer cases in the UK may be linked to dietary factors, of which almost 5% are linked to not eating enough fruit and vegetables. So eating a well-balanced diet which is high in fruit and vegetables – whether conventionally grown or not – can help reduce your cancer risk.'

The Million Women Study is funded by Cancer Research UK and the Medical Research Council.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Research Indicates Risks of Consuming High Fructose Corn Syrup
New study indicates that large amounts of HFCS can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Friday, November 30, 2012
Oxford Experts Call for Sugary Drinks Tax in the UK
The introduction of taxes on sugary drinks is believed to be one measure that would encourage healthier diets and help tackle the obesity crisis in the UK.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Scientific News
The MaxSignal Colistin ELISA Test Kit from Bioo Scientific
Kit can help prevent the antibiotic apocalypse by keeping last resort drugs out of the food supply.
Kitchen Utensils Can Spread Bacteria Between Foods
In a recent study researchers found that produce that contained bacteria would contaminate other produce items through the continued use of knives or graters—the bacteria would latch on to the utensils commonly found in consumers' homes and spread to the next item.
GMO Food Animals Should be Judged by Product, Not Process
In a world with a burgeoning demand for meat, milk and eggs, regulatory policies around the use of biotechnologies in agriculture need to be based on the safety and attributes of those foods rather than on the methods used to produce them, says a UC Davis animal scientist.
Acetaldehyde and Formaldehyde Content in Foods
Korean researchers have determined the content of the toxic and carcinogenic aldehydes, acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, in a variety of food groups.
Increasing Vitamin D Supplementation
New study from ETH Zurich finds that elderly women should consume more vitamin D than previously recommended during the winter months.
IARC Monographs Evaluate Consumption of Red Meat and Processed Meat
Processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%.
Nanoparticles in Foods Raise Safety Questions
Nanoparticles can make foods like jawbreaker candies brighter and creamier and keep them fresh longer. But researchers are still in the dark about what the tiny additives do once inside our bodies.
Arsenic Found in Many U.S. Red Wines
A new University of Washington study that tested 65 wines from America’s top four wine-producing states — California, Washington, New York and Oregon — found all but one have arsenic levels that exceed what’s allowed in drinking water.
Viruses Join Fight Against Harmful Bacteria
Engineered viruses could combat human disease and improve food safety.
Plastic for Dinner
Roughly a quarter of the fish sampled from fish markets in California and Indonesia contained man-made debris according to a study from the University of California, Davis, and Hasanuddin University in Indonesia.

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos