Organic Foods vs. Cancer RiskIs there a specific study showing organic-eaters vs. non-organic-eaters and number of cancer cases in each group?  If not, do you know of any other pertinent study in...

Organic Foods vs. Cancer Risk

Is there a specific study showing organic-eaters vs. non-organic-eaters and number of cancer cases in each group?  If not, do you know of any other pertinent study in this arena?  Are there any study anomalies of cancer outbreaks among people who eat organic religiously?  What is the most important study that you know of in this regard, ... on either side?

Expert Answers
vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an excellent question. When I read it, I thought of Steve Jobs. I recently read the biography of him by Walter Isaacson and was saddened to think that he might have lived longer if he had accepted the recommendations of his doctors and had not tried to treat himself by refusing conventional treatment and relying instead on organic cures.

A quick Google check turned up some sources that seem worth examining. Here are some of them:



justaguide eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Though something with an "organic" label could entice buyers, it has to be kept in mind that many things that are consumed and particularly over-consumed are inherently cancer-causing. A person eating too much of fat is exposing himself to several known cancers that originate from doing so in spite of whether what the cows ate had chemicals added to it or the cows themselves had artificial chemicals injected into them.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since the things we eat, drink or are exposed to that cause cancer are not all known to us, and since they blend with factors of genetic predisposition and environment, it would be difficult for any studies comparing organic vs. non-organic ingestion to be conclusive.  Not only that, but the source of organic foods includes farms from all over the Western Hemisphere, where organic standards but also other environmental risks cannot be accurately measured.  Seems like any such study would be flawed at best.

stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are so many variables in this whole topic, one specific study could never cover all the possible situations and complications. If you could pick a particular food group (organic meat as opposed to chemically treated meat, for example), you could start looking for information relevant to that particular area.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Another interesting issue to consider is what constitutes food being called "organic." In some countries for example, there is a range of "organicness" amongst organic food, with some foods being more organic than others. This makes it very difficult to draw any conclusive ideas about this issue.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
My biggest problem with the organic label is that there is not much oversight. Although there are more stipulations now than before, many people still don't know what organic really means. There are still companies putting that label on products that really don't differ much in the way they are grown.
literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have to agree labels are not really a good enough indicator of products being organic or not. Outside of that, I have to agree with stolperia. It seems like your question is too large. I would also think athat another concern are products which claim to be organic and are not.

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