Eating Organic Food Does Not Decrease Incidence of Cancer

Eating organic food does not lead to a decrease in cancer.

There is little to no decrease in cancer in those who consume organic food- concludes a study from The University of Oxford, published in the British Journal of Cancer.  

When researchers looked at the relationship between consumption of organic food and those who developed cancer, they found that organic food offered no protective benefit. In fact, there was a small increase in breast cancer (1.37%).

The work covered 17 types of cancer in a large PROSPECTIVE study of 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. Consumption of organic food was not associated with a reduction in the incidence of all cancer (n=53 769 cases in total) (RR for usually/always vs never=1.03, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.99–1.07), soft tissue sarcoma (RR=1.37, 95% CI: 0.82–2.27), or breast cancer (RR=1.09, 95% CI: 1.02–1.15), but was associated for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (RR=0.79, 95% CI: 0.65–0.96).


Besides vegetables, any food raised in a self-described “organic” manner


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.

Ten years ago it was felt that vegetables were the magic cure to prevent cancer- and the more organic the better.  This, as well as other research shows that vegetables offer no benefit, in spite of earlier studies looking at populations of vegetarians.


British Journal of Cancer 110, 2321-2326 (29 April 2014) | doi:10.1038/bjc.2014.148

Dr. Terry Simpson About Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and received his MD. Dr. Simpson, a renowned weight loss surgeon, is a leading advocate of culinary medicine. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit


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