Tag Archives | Cancer

The Pro-Cancer Lobby In Washington D.C.

In the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof describes what he terms the “cancer lobby” — how major industry spends millions of dollars to influence Congress in support of carcinogenic chemicals:

Who knew that carcinogens had their own lobby in Washington? Just consider formaldehyde, which is found in everything from nail polish to kitchen countertops, fabric softeners to carpets. Largely because of its use in building materials, we breathe formaldehyde fumes when we’re inside our homes. According to government scientists, it causes cancer.

The chemical industry is working frantically to suppress that scientific consensus — because it fears “public confusion.” Big Chem apparently worries that you might be confused if you learned that formaldehyde caused cancer of the nose and throat, and perhaps leukemia.

The industry’s strategy is to lobby Congress to cut off money for the Report on Carcinogens, a 500-page consensus document published every two years by the National Institutes of Health, containing the best information about what agents cause cancer.

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Mounting Research Shows Marijuana Fights Cancer

Will the jaws of future generations drop in amazement when they learn that marijuana was banned in our society as a criminal substance? Via the Daily Beast:

Mounting evidence shows ‘cannabinoids’ in marijuana slow cancer growth, inhibit formation of new blood cells that feed a tumor, and help manage pain, fatigue, nausea, and other side effects. [This] offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could treat aggressive forms of cancer without any of the painful side effects of chemotherapy.

Cristina Sanchez, a young biologist at Complutense University in Madrid, was studying cell metabolism when she noticed something peculiar. She had been screening brain cancer cells [and realized] the cancer cells died each time they were exposed to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive ingredient of marijuana.

Sanchez had stumbled upon the anti-cancer properties of THC. Subsequent peer-reviewed studies in several countries would show that THC and other marijuana-derived compounds, known as “cannabinoids,” are effective not only for cancer-symptom management (nausea, pain, loss of appetite, fatigue), they also confer a direct antitumoral effect.

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Study: Sunbed Tanning Kills 800 People In Europe Every Year

When the quest for the outward appearance of vibrant health hastens death. AFP reports:

Sunbed users run a 20 percent higher risk than non-users of developing skin cancer, according to a report that blamed some 800 melanoma deaths in Europe every year on indoor tanning.

About 3,400 of some 64,000 new cases of cutaneous melanoma diagnosed in 18 European countries every year are related to sunbed use — more than five percent, said a statement issued by the BMJ medical journal. The risk doubled if tanners started before the age of 35.

The findings were based on an analysis by researchers of 27 studies on skin cancer and sunbed use conducted between 1981 and 2012 in Britain, France, Germany and other countries.

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Nifty Neat Fluorescent Bulbs Cause Ultraviolet Skin Damage

Photo: Sun Ladder (CC)

From the office of unintended consequences:

A recent scientific report highlighted at Popular Science indicates that those energy-saving fluorescent bulbs may not be all they’re – ahem – cracked up to be. The study, led by a team at Stony Brook, revealed that microscopic fissures in the bulbs can expose skin to harmful UV rays, resulting in potential cellular damage.

Is it anything to worry about? Probably not, but it’s a reminder that there is always a potentially hazardous side to any technological innovation, some of which aren’t apparent until its too late.

I’m reminded of the “radium girls” who worked the lines painting clock dials with the radioactive substance at the Waterbury Clock Factory in Ottawa, IL. They’d lick their brushes to keep the tips pointed between clocks, and some of them would paint it on their buttons for fun. After all, radium was harmless, right?… Read the rest

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“Stop Fucking With the Soy”: Anti-Monsanto Activist Faced Anonymous Death Threats

SoybeanLucia Graves writes at the Huffington Post:

For 13 years Sofia Gatica has organized opposition to the aerial spraying of agrochemicals that threaten human health and the environment in Argentina — and for almost as long, she and her children have faced physical threats from anonymous agents.

Gatica, who lives in a working-class neighborhood of 6,000 in central Argentina surrounded by soy fields, began organizing against Monsanto after she noticed a disturbingly high rate of cancer and birth defects in her community. Her own 3-day-old daughter died of kidney failure in 1999, and a neighbor had a baby die of the same uncommon birth defect.

“I started seeing children with mouth covers, mothers with scarves wrapped around their heads to cover their baldness, due to chemotherapy,” she told Grist in an interview, explaining what inspired her to co-found Mothers of Ituzaingó. The efforts of those half-dozen mothers, who began going from door to door collecting information on health problems in their community, led to the first epidemiological study that showed cancer rates in Gatica’s hometown of Ituzaingó were 41 times the national average, with high rates of birth defects and infant mortality as well.Within a few years of the study’s publication, and as her advocacy work gave her a higher profile, Gatica began to receive death threats, culminating in an incident in late 2007…

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Sugar Shown To Be Toxic, Causing Cancer, Heart Disease

Although food activists have been warning for years of the dangers of the massive sugar overload in the American diet, and in particular the perils to our health from the ubiquitous High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), only now has the scientific research confirming their concerns become so compelling that the mainstream media is taking what was once a minority viewpoint seriously. The most remarkable thing about this "60 Minutes" investigation by celebrity doctor Sanjay Gupta is the short shrift given to the sugar industry's right to reply. Gupta and CBS News dismiss the industry representative's protest against the research summarily, essentially calling him out for having nothing of substance to say. Bravo Dr. Gupta! You can read a transcript of the segment here.
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Nuclear Testing Continues at the Bay Area’s Lawrence Livermore Lab

Via Media Roots: If you think nuclear testing is now only done on computers, think again. Abby and Robbie Martin grew up in Pleasanton, CA, a city located ten miles from the Lawrence Livermore Lab (LLL), a secret nuclear weapons production facility. They initially set out to explore the psychological impacts of taking nuclear testing into virtual space. But as their investigation unfolded, they found that the LLL—in conjunction with Site 300—has built an impressive greenwashing PR campaign cloaking a dark reality.
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Would You Like Cancer With Your Coke?

CocaColaBottle background freeThe Coca-Cola Company doesn’t like it, but it’s removing the caramel coloring from Coke due to California declaring the compound to be a carcinogen. Via WBUR:

When the state of California added the compound 4-methylimidazole, also known as 4-MI or 4-MEI, to its list of known carcinogens in 2011, it created a problem for the soda industry.

The caramel color they used to give colas that distinctive, brown hue contained levels of 4-MI that would have warranted a cancer warning label on every can sold in the state.

And this wasn’t the industry’s only challenge. The Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban ammonia-sulfite caramel color. It’s a request the CSPI repeated this week after finding 4-MI in samples of Coke and Pepsi.

“This is nothing more than CSPI scare tactics, and their claims are outrageous,” writes the American Beverage Association in a statement released to the media.

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Would The Kochs Rather Attack Me Than Stop Cancer?

The Koch-owned Georgia Pacific plant in Crossett, AR. Source: Georgia Pacific

The Koch-owned Georgia Pacific plant in Crossett, AR. Source: Georgia Pacific

My filmmaking team and I recently told the story of the small town of Crossett, Arkansas, where residents are giving powerful testimony about the prevalence of cancer in their community and linking it to a nearby chemical plant owned by Charles and David Koch. This revelation came on top of the already-known facts that the Koch brothers are among the top 10 polluters in the United States and led the charge (unsuccessfully) to keep formaldehyde from being named a carcinogen.

Yet instead of cleaning up their operations, the Kochs are now attacking me personally.

Just as my new film Koch Brothers Exposed is set for release, one of the Kochs’ corporate spokesmen, Greg Guest, says I’m “a very, very slanted filmmaker” who has made “erroneous and false claims” about the Kochs’ operations. What he fails to mention is that my office has contacted the Koch brothers numerous times for an explanation of what’s false about our exposés, including the one on cancer.… Read the rest

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Bacon Shown To Increase Cancer Risk By 19%

320px-NCI_baconYet another item to scratch off the menu (and the same goes for other processed meats, to perhaps no disinformation reader’s surprise). From the Press Association via The Guardian:

Eating two rashers of bacon a day can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 19% and the risk goes up if a person eats more, experts have said.

Eating 50g of processed meat every day – the equivalent to one sausage or two rashers of bacon – increases the risk by 19%, compared to people who do not eat processed meat at all.

For people consuming double this amount of processed meat (100g), the increased risk jumps to 38%, and is 57% for those eating 150g a day. But experts cautioned that the overall risk of pancreatic cancer was relatively low – in the UK, the lifetime risk of developing the disease is one in 77 for men and one in 79 for women.

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