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Organic food has ‘no health benefits’

Consumers appear willing to pay higher prices for organic foods based on their perceived health and nutrition benefits,however,the new study from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found no evidence for superior nutritional content of organic food.

The review included 162 relevant studies that compared the nutrient content of conventionally and organically produced foodstuffs.

In 10 of the 13 nutrient category analyses, there were no significant differences in nutrient contents between production methods.

The differences that were detected were most likely to be due to differences in fertilizer use (nitrogen,phosphorus),and ripeness at harvest (acidity),and it is unlikely that consuming these nutrients at the levels reported in organic foods would provide any health benefit.

“A small number of differences in nutrient content were found to exist between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs,but these are unlikely to be of any public health relevance,” said Alan Dangour,of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s Nutrition and Public Health Intervention Research Unit,and one of the report’s authors.

“Our review shows that there is no evidence supporting organic foods being preferred over conventionally produced food on the basis of nutritional superiority.

“Research in this area would benefit from greater scientific rigour and a better understanding of the various factors that determine the nutrient content of foodstuffs,” Dangour added.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published this study.

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