Organic food has no significant difference from ordinary food, according to a major study by the researchers of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
"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, one of the report's authors.
"Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority," the study stated.
The study was commissioned by the British government's Food Standards Agency. The review focussed on nutritional content and did not include a review of the content of contaminants or chemical residues in foods from different agricultural production regimens.
The study further pointed out that consumers were paying higher prices for organic food because of its perceived health benefits, creating a global organic market worth an estimated $48 billion in 2007.
Organic farming, which focuses on protecting wildlife and the environment, means no artificial chemical fertilisers are used, pesticide use is restricted and animals are expected to be free range.