Organic producers have reacted angrily to a BBC programme claiming organic produce is no healthier than standard produce - but insisted sales were unlikely to be affected.

In Professor Regan's Supermarket Secrets this week, Lesley Regan said: "I don't think we've uncovered anything to persuade me there's a substantial body of evidence that I should only eat organic produce or make it a substantial part of my shopping basket."

Her comments provoked fury among senior organic industry figures. The Soil Association said there was "a large body of scientific evidence" showing significant nutritional differences between organic and standard produce.

"As an obstetrician, Professor Regan seems strangely unaware of well-established links between pesticides and human reproductive problems," said campaigns director Robin Maynard.

Organic production methods were also better for the environment, said Garden Organic director of research Margi Lennartsson.

"The sustainable approach that comes with organic growing not only protects us from a cocktail of chemicals but also ensures our land and soil remain healthy for generations to come and the natural balance of wildlife and biodiversity is protected," she said.

However, the programme was not expected to have an adverse impact on sales or consumer attitudes, said Organic Farmers & Growers chief executive Richard Jacobs. "There's mounting evidence that organics can be more nutritious," he added.

Online retailer Abel & Cole agreed sales were unlikely to be affected.

"The more people talk about this stuff the better," said Ella Heeks, director of ethics. "I'd rather people talk about the issues because then they can decide for themselves. Organic thrives under scrutiny."