Getting funding for a project that has to take so long is challenging. Also, Mithen points out, ‘it’s quite easy to design human trials for drugs. You know about a placebo control, if you have one tablet designed to do something, you have another tablet that is exactly the same, but might be just a sugar pill. You can’t do that when you are using vegetables. Trying to produce evidence that it will reduce the risk of cancer is difficult, as cancer can take 20 years to develop. We’ve been able to show the health benefits for cardiovascular disease but for cancer we’re still working on that.’
To gain a benefit, Mithen recommends eating Beneforté two or three times a week as part of a healthy diet. Already on sale in the UK, the super broccoli, is on its way to the rest of the world. Satisfaction for most scientists is publishing a paper, for Mithen and his team it’s knowing their food is being eaten and is improving our health.