1 Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture Study December 2016. Abstract This report reviews the existing scientific evidence regarding the impact of organic food on Human health from an EU perspective and the potential contribution of organic management practices to the development of healthy food systems. Very few studies have directly addressed the effect of organic food on Human health . They indicate that organic food may reduce the risk of allergic disease and obesity, but this evidence is not conclusive. Consumers of organic food tend to have healthier dietary patterns overall.
2 Animal experiments suggest that identically composed feed from organic or conventional production has different impacts on early development and physiology, but the significance of these findings for Human health is unclear. In organic agriculture , the use of pesticides is restricted. Epidemiological studies point to the negative effects of certain insecticides on children's cognitive development at current levels of exposure. Such risks can be minimised with organic food , especially during pregnancy and in infancy, and by introducing non-pesticidal plant protection in conventional agriculture . There are few known compositional differences between organic and conventional crops.
3 Perhaps most importantly, there are indications that organic crops have a lower cadmium content than conventional crops due to differences in fertiliser usage and soil organic matter, an issue that is highly relevant to Human health . organic milk, and probably also meat, have a higher content of omega-3 fatty acids compared to conventional products, but this is not likely to be nutritionally significant in light of other dietary sources. The prevalent use of antibiotics in conventional animal production is a key driver of antibiotic resistance. The prevention of animal disease and more restrictive use of antibiotics, as practiced in organic production, could minimise this risk, with potentially considerable benefits for public health .
4 PE STOA - Science and Technology Options Assessment AUTHORS. The study project ' Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture ' was carried out at the request of the Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel, and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA) within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (DG EPRS) of the European Parliament. The responsibility for drafting the various chapters was with the following authors: Axel Mie, Karolinska Institutet, Department of Clinical Science and Education, S dersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden, and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Centre for organic food and Farming (EPOK), Ultuna, Sweden (Executive Summary, Introduction, Chapter 4, 6 & 7, Conclusions, Policy Options).
5 Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyot, Research Unit on Nutritional Epidemiology (U1153 Inserm, U1125 INRA, CNAM, Universit . Paris 13), Centre of Research in Epidemiology and Statistics Sorbonne Paris Cit , Bobigny, France (Chapter 2). Johannes Kahl, University of Copenhagen, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Frederiksberg, Denmark (Chapter 3). Ewa Rembia kowska, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Department of Functional & organic food & Commodities, Warsaw, Poland (Chapter 4 & 6). Helle Raun Andersen, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Public health , Odense, Denmark (Chapter 5). Philippe Grandjean, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Public health , Odense, Denmark, and Harvard Chan School of Public health , Department of Environmental health , Boston, USA (Chapter 5, Conclusions, Policy Options).
6 Stefan Gunnarsson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Department of Animal Environment and health , Skara, Sweden (Chapter 8). Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank the following persons for critically reading and reviewing sections of this report: Julia Baudry, Universit Paris 13, France; Nils Fall, Birgitta Johansson, H kan J nsson, and Maria Wivstad, all Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden; Denis Lairon, Aix-Marseille University, France; Kristian Holst Laursen, Copenhagen University, Denmark; and Jessica Perry, Harvard School of Public health , USA. The authors would like to thank Marcin Bara ski and Gavin Stewart, Newcastle University, UK, for providing additional meta-analyses of the cadmium content in organic and conventional crops.
7 Gianluca Quaglio, STOA research administrator, is acknowledged for guidance and feedback during the writing process of this report. RESPONSIBLE ADMINISTRATORS. Gianluca Quaglio (Seconded National Expert) / Theodoros Karapiperis Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA). Directorate for Impact Assessment and European Added Value Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services European Parliament, Rue Wiertz 60, B-1047 Brussels E-mail: LINGUISTIC VERSION. Original: EN. ABOUT THE EDITOR. To contact STOA or to subscribe to its newsletter, please write to: This document is available on the Internet at: Manuscript completed in December 2016.
8 Brussels, European Parliament, 2016. DISCLAIMER. The content of this document is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP. for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy. PE ISBN 978-92-846-0395-4. doi: 978-92-846-0395-4. QA-06-16-362-EN-N. 2. Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture Contents Executive summary.
9 6. 1. 10. 2. Studies on the health effects of organic food in humans .. 12. Types of epidemiological studies .. 12. PARSIFAL, KOALA, ALADDIN: Effects of an organic diet on allergies and atopic diseases in 13. Norwegian mother and child cohort 14. The Million Women Study .. 15. The NutriNet-Sant study and the Bionutrinet research 15. Clinical studies in humans .. 16. Effects of organic vs. conventional diet on health .. 16. Effects of organic vs. conventional diet on health -related 16. Effects of organic vs. conventional food on pesticide exposure .. 17. Effects of consumption of organic vs. conventional food on nutritional biomarkers.
10 17. Conclusions .. 17. 3. organic food consumption and sustainable 19. organic food consumption patterns environmental sustainability and health .. 19. Consumer attitudes and food choices .. 19. Preference for organic food and dietary choices .. 19. How consumption patterns of consumers with an organic food preference are linked to risks of chronic 19. Sustainable diets .. 20. The Mediterranean Diet and the New Nordic Diet two examples of sustainable .. 20. Potential contribution of the organic agro- food system to sustainable diets .. 21. Conclusions .. 21. 4. Experimental in vitro and animal 22. Studies of health effects: in vitro 22.