A study suggests organic foods are not much healthier than conve - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

A study suggests organic foods are not much healthier than conventional meats, fruits and vegetables

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Over the last 15 years, organic foods have grown into a 30 billion dollar industry with many shoppers opting for the goods because they believe they're better.

However, researchers from Stanford University, who evaluated data from more than 200 studies, suggest otherwise.

"We found that there were no specific foods or fruits that had any significant difference between organic and conventional," said Dr. Dena Bravata, Stanford Study Senior Author.

Critics disagree. "I think it is troubling that this study sort of comes out in a vacuum and renders a judgment call on organic when it itself didn't contribute anything new. And really the studies, when they do get into each of them, actually show some really interesting benefits that organic and other sustainable ag practices might provide," said Dr. Urvashi Rangan, Director of Consumer Safety and Sustainability for Consumer Reports.

Researchers at Stanford did find the vitamin content to be the same in organic and conventional produce. And they found that organic produce is 30% less likely to be contaminated with pesticide residue.

However, the study shows all of the produce studied had pesticide levels that fell below federally set safety limits.

"To me, the lens in which the authors look at this study and the findings of it is somewhat distorted and I think it is misleading to consumers and really it does a disservice to them," said Dr. Rangan.

While the study found little evidence of additional health benefits of organic food, experts agree more long-term studies need to be done. No study looking at health benefits of organic food has exceeded two years.

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