Eating only organic foods could lower cancer risk, a new study claims.
The greatest impact was observed on the risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which, according to the survey of nearly 70,000 French adults, fell dramatically among those who only ate biologically.
Overall, their breast cancer risks also decreased.
The finding comes amidst a sensational interest in the cancer risks of pesticides, fueled by the Monsanto study this summer, when a jury awarded $ 250 million to a cancer-suffering groundsman after discovering that Roundup Weedkiller had caused his cancer.
The health benefits were much greater for obese people, they found.
However, the diet had no significant effect on colorectal cancer – which is increasing in numbers worldwide – or prostate cancer.
"Our findings suggest that higher consumption of organic foods is associated with a reduction in the overall cancer risk," said Drs. Julia Baudry, Director of the Research Center for Epidemiology and Statistics Sorbonne, Paris.
"We observed reduced risks for specific cancer sites – postmenopausal breast cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and all lymphomas – in people with a higher frequency of organic foods.
"Although our findings must be confirmed, promoting the consumption of organic food in the population could be a promising cancer prevention strategy."
Organic food standards do not permit the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and genetically modified organisms and restrict the use of veterinary medicinal products.
Consequently, organic products are less likely to contain pesticide residues than conventional foods.
While organic foods are nothing new, more and more studies show how crucial it can be for your health. A recent review found that while pesticide manufacturers question cancer compounds, the amount of evidence showing the relationships is overwhelming.
Earlier this year, a report by the European Food Safety Authority found that nearly half (44 percent) of the standard diet contained one or more chemicals, compared with only 6.5 percent of health food.