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The Connexion

January 2019

Eating organic means reduced exposure to pesticide residues cides – and a 34% reduction for post-menopausal breast cancer. There are limits on the work by Emmanuelle Kesse and the team at Université Paris 13 and the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (Inserm). It does not show organic food is the direct cause of the reduced risk as it is accepted that people who eat more organic food have healthier overall lifestyles and eating habits. The findings on lymphoma were also a small part of the overall result, so may not be statistically significant. Dr Kesse said the “likeliest explanation” for finding a 25% reduction in overall cancer risk for organic food-eaters was “the

presence of synthetic pesticide residues, more common and at higher doses in foods from conventional agriculture”. Research agency Inra said the results suggested a diet rich in organic foods could limit cancers – but said it was not possible to identify cause and effect from a single study. It said other explanations included potentially higher levels of micronutrients in organic foods. Dr Kesse study ran from May 2009 to November 2016 with 69,000 volunteers – average age 44, with 78% women – listed on the NutriNet-Santé website as ready to do food research. A total of 1,340 cancers appeared, including breast cancer (34%), prostate cancer (13%), skin cancer (10%) and bowel cancer (7%). There were fewer cases in people who ate mainly organic food – 269 against 360 in those eating the least organic food. The numbers involved in the lymphoma findings were small. Fifteen people who ate the least organic food had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, against two among the high-organic eaters.

Blind rider’s double Olympic dream Photo: Verity Smith

Photo: Ken Seaton

Organic food linked to 25% drop in cancer risk PUBLIC health advice is to be updated to make consumers aware of the advantages of local seasonal foods – and push the organic message. The new advice comes after a well-publicised French study suggested people who eat mainly organic food have a lower risk of cancer than those who eat little bio. Raphaëlle Ancellin, prevention project manager at the Institut National du Cancer, said: “We cannot make recommendations based on this study alone, we need more research. “However, the Haut Conseil de la Santé Publique is amending its diet guidance in 2019, expanding the present ‘eat more fruit and veg and cut processed food, red meat and charcuterie’ to a more complete message: eat more fruit, veg and whole grains, be environmentally aware and buy local, buy seasonal and possibly organic.” The study, of nearly 70,000 people, found a 76% reduction in lymphoma blood cancer risk – one of the most common cancers in farm workers who have a higher exposure to pesti-

News 7

Verity and her beloved horse Szekit before it fell ill

BLIND dressage rider Verity Smith’s dreams of becoming the first rider to compete at both the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games in 2020 have been revived after being dashed when her beloved horse fell ill. Despite being blind, Nîmes-based Verity, 45, is ranked 12th in France at Elite Able-Bodied level. Her only concession is the use of a team of nine “Scoobies”, who call out the letters positioned around the arena. In 2017, Verity and her horse Szekit were selected for the French dressage Paralympic squad and had a realistic prospect of competing in both games in Tokyo, but those hopes seemed over when the horse fell seriously ill. Verity, who is British but has lived most of her

life in France after moving here as a teenager, has spent many months by Szekit’s side at a clinic in St Etienne. Due to their bond, Verity felt her career as a rider was finished. Then her trainer said she had found a new horse: a 10-year-old Hanoverian mare called Daizy. Former Team GB rider Verity said: “At first I didn’t want to think about it because it felt like being married to someone and taking a boyfriend.” Valuable training time has been lost so they must work hard to be selected for the national team on February 4, but Daizy is already competing at Grand Prix level and Verity is confident. The only obstacle left is finance – to buy Daizy, Verity needs to raise €200,000 by the end of this month. To support her, visit

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The Connexion 195 - January 2019  

France's English-Language Newspaper

The Connexion 195 - January 2019  

France's English-Language Newspaper