Saturday, July 28, 2012

Another Cancer Scaremonger

By Rich Kozlovich

Some weeks ago I spoke before the Cuyahoga County Council here in Ohio regarding their proposed legislation to ban pesticides on all county property. Their legislation started out saying pesticides are 'toxic' and 'carcinogenic'. When I asked five questions regarding recent events that required pesticide applications, and issues that were clearly going to become problematic without pesticides; I was accused of scare mongering. The old system of county governance was abandoned because of serious financial corruption. It has been replaced with philosophical corruption, and it permeates every level of government.

An Article appeared today entitled; Dem proposes bill allowing some products to be labeled 'cancer-free', by Pete Kasperowicz declaring that Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) on Wednesday proposed legislation that would allow companies to apply to the government to allow their products to bear a "cancer-free" label.

Deutch claims that "It's time to help consumers choose safer products for themselves and for their loved ones. That's why today I'm introducing the Cancer Free Label Act. My bill will give companies the chance to market to consumers the fact that the products that they make are free of carcinogens”….the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Product Safety Commission would set up rules for approving the use of "cancer-free" labels [stating] "This product does not contain known or likely carcinogens that increase your risk of cancer."

The article goes on to say that "Companies would have to send in a list of ingredients or substances used in the product. Agencies could approve the use of the label if it finds no carcinogens are used, and the company is making, storing and transporting the product in a way that does not pose a risk of cancer.  The bill also requires agencies to conduct random testing of products to ensure they are in fact composed of substances listed in the application. And, it allows agencies to charge a "reasonable fee" to administer the program.  Finally, the bill makes it illegal to label products as cancer-free without government approval, subject to a fine of no more than $100,000."

Well, I like it! Surprised? That is, I do have one caveat; I like it provided that the list of materials in the containers lists the chemicals in the food in the container also. If that's the case.....there won't be much sold since most of the carcinogens we are in contact with are naturally occurring in the food we eat. Furthermore, so many carcinogens are listed as 'Class "B" carcinogens. What does that mean? It means they don't really know if they cause cancer or not, they just 'think' that they 'might' cause cancer. We have to get over this chemo-phobia and these alleged links to cancer and any belief that the government ‘knows’ what everything does, including these much touted agencies like the EPA, the Food and Drug Administration or any of the others for that matter.

As for the EPA's method of determining whether something is carcinogenic or not; at this point I think it worthwhile to explore this issue of carcinogenic testing. The EPA bases it judgment on rodent testing. Make no mistake about this; a mouse isn’t a little man and using rodents that are genetically predisposed to growing tumors for testing and then exposing them massive doses of anything to make that determination isn’t the best science as required under the Information Quality Act.

In 2005 the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) petitioned the EPA to “Stop declaring chemicals carcinogens based on rodent tests alone”. ACSH noted that the law permits EPA “to adopt policies that err on the side of caution when faced with genuinely equivocal evidence regarding a substance's carcinogenicity, but the IQA does not permit EPA to distort the scientific evidence in furtherance of such policies.”

The petition argues that EPA ”distorts scientific evidence through its Guidelines' use of "default options," its purported right -- based not on scientific evidence but its regulatory mission to protect human health -- to assume that tumors in lab rodents indicate that much smaller doses can cause cancer in humans. Erring on the "safe side" in regulatory decisions does not, argues the petition, permit EPA to falsely claim that such regulated substances truly are "likely to be carcinogenic to humans." To do so, argues ACSH, is a distortion of both science and law. “

Finally after months of delays the EPA formally responded saying “that their Risk Assessment Guidelines are not statements of scientific fact -- and thus not covered by the IQA -- but merely statements of EPA policy.” My question was then and is now. If EPA policies aren’t based on scientific fact, what are they based on?

In 1950 the legal limit for DDT was seven parts per million. Why? Because they couldn’t test below that; so anything below seven parts per million was zero. As the years went by we have learned how to detect substances at parts per billion, then parts per trillion, then parts per quadrillion and parts per…well…even higher numbers that I can’t recite. At some point we will be able to detect everything in anything. But should that matter? No! At some point the molecular load will be so small that cells will not respond to it. Under Delaney that wouldn’t matter. It was later discovered, mostly through the efforts of Dr. Bruce Ames, that the number of naturally occurring carcinogens was shockingly high.

To really get the full impact of the folly of the government's statements let's take a look at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu which is filled with carcinogens.

I'm not sure what drives these people to demand these things, but it is clear that they either don't know that the cancer rates are dropping and that most carcinogens are naturally occurring, or too lazy to find out, or they are deliberately being dishonest dupes and pawns of the environmental movement. Either way, if this passed it would not have any impact on the nation's health or alter the amount of cancers that develop in people. The reality is that cancer 'epidemics' are self induced by our life style. In the early 1900's lung cancer was so rare that one doctor made sure that his interns saw one such patient because he said that this is so rare they may never see another again in their careers. Then smoking became popular.

If his concern really is all about public health then perhaps he should focus on that first. After he has fixed the way people live then perhaps he can expand his focus. In the meanwhile he might wish to read something on the subject. Allow me to recommend the American Council on Science and Health's book, American's War On "Carcinogens"!


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