Tag Archives: cancer

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Bacon To Be Classified As Dangerous As Cigarettes By World Health Organization

By Guy Bentley

The World Health Organization (WHO) will soon warn that some of America’s favorite meats are as dangerous a cigarettes.

WHO will target processed meats such as bacon, ham and sausages as causes of cancer and will say red meat is also hazardous to health in a decision to be released Monday. The findings resulted from a meeting of scientists from 10 countries.

The Daily Mail reports WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer will conclude that a host of processed meats should be placed in the highest of five possible rankings as “carcinogenic to humans.”

The ranking will put burgers and bacon alongside asbestos, arsenic, cigarettes and alcohol. The justification behind the decision, according to the Daily Mail, is that when meat is being preserved through processes like smoking carcinogens can be added. Red meat on the other hand has been linked to bowel cancer, according to the U.K’s Department of Health.

The decision is already drawing fire from scientists and meat experts, with the North American Meat Institute claiming the the report went against “both common sense and dozens of studies showing no correlation between meat and cancer.”

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Dr. Ian Johnson, Emeritus Fellow of the Institute of Food Research, said:

[quote_box_center]Although there is epidemiological evidence for a statistically significant association between processed meat consumption and bowel cancer, it is important to emphasise that the size of the effect is relatively small, and the mechanism is poorly defined.

It is certainly very inappropriate to suggest that any adverse effect of bacon and sausages on the risk of bowel cancer is comparable to the dangers of tobacco smoke, which is loaded with known chemical carcinogens and increases the risk of lung cancer in cigarette smokers by around 20 fold.[/quote_box_center]

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Another Popular Herbicide Ingredient ‘Possibly Causes Cancer’

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has found another popular herbicide “possibly” causes cancer in humans.

The weed killer 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, known as 2,4-D, is the latest herbicide to be linked to cancer just months after the IARC found that Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp herbicide, “probably” causes cancer. 

The IARC reviewed the latest scientific research before deciding to classify 2,4-D as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” a step below “probably carcinogenic”. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been receiving pressure to restrict or prohibit the use of 2,4-D, while some farm group and pesticide industry groups say the chemical does not need any more restriction.

Of particular interest with the recent findings is the fact that in April the EPA approved the use of Dow AgroScience’s Enlist Duo herbicide which contains 2,4-D and glyphosate. Enlist Duo is part of a partnership between Monsanto and Dow known as the Enlist Weed Control system. 

The weed controls system is the latest effort to combat the growing problem of so-called “super weeds” that have resulted from the abundant use of glyphosate-based herbicides. In order to fight off the tougher weeds, Dow and Monsanto partnered together to produce Enlist Duo.

At the time of the EPA’s approval of Enlist Duo, the Environmental Working Group condemned the decision, stating that it endangers humans, animals, and the environment. The USDA expects use of 2,4-D to increase by 200 to 600 percent by 2020.

The new herbicide works in conjunction with Genetically Modified Corn and Soybean seeds from Dow AgroSciences that are engineered to withstand both chemicals. Last fall the United States Department of Agriculture announced that it would approve the GE seeds.

Dow did not comment on the IARC classification of 2,4-D. The IARC said it chose “possibly” rather than “probably” because there was “inadequate evidence in humans and limited evidence in experimental animals” of ties between 2,4-D and cancer. The IARC said, “epidemiological studies did not find strong or consistent increases in risk of NHL (non-Hodgkin lymphoma) or other cancers in relation to 2,4-D exposure.”

Dana Loomis, a deputy section head for IARC, told Reuters the review showed mixed results, and that a “sizable minority” judged the evidence as stronger than others did.

The announcement comes just one month after 25 organizations representing farm workers, environment, and food safety organizations sent a letter to officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency calling for an investigation into claims that scientists are facing pressure and retaliation for research that presents the controversial neonicotinoid insecticide in a negative light.

The groups say they are concerned with a report from Reuters detailing threats to scientists who speak out about the dangers of the pesticide. These threats included suspension without pay, and threats of damage to careers. The scientists filed a petition in March asking for more protection

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility executive director Jeff Ruch told Common Dreams that the petition was “based on the experiences of 10 USDA scientists” who allegedly faced backlash for research on neonicotinoid insecticides and glyphosate, as well as other topics, including genetically modified crops.

UPDATE: Connecticut Supreme Court rules teen must continue chemotherapy

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled a teen must continue to undergo chemotherapy to fight her cancer, despite her wish to not undergo treatment.

The story posted earlier this week described a 17-year-old named “Cassandra C.” in court papers, who was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. She, with the support of her mother, Jackie Fortin, refused to undergo treatment, but the state of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families was granted temporary custody of Cassandra so they could force chemo on the teen.

A legal battle ensued over the right for the teen to refuse the treatment, but the Supreme Court of Connecticut has ruled in favor of the DCF.

The chemotherapy treatment Cassandra is undergoing is believed to offer her an 85 percent chance of survival, according to medical experts who testified at the trial. However, these same experts said if she continued to refuse treatment, the teen would likely be dead within two years.

“This is her decision and her rights, which is what we are here fighting about,” said Fortin. “We should have choices about what to do with our bodies.”

Fortin and Cassandra have been asking the courts to recognize the “mature minor doctrine” which would allow a minor who shows the maturity of an adult to be able to make choices in the same capacity as an adult. The Courts ruled, however, Cassandra is not mature in this regards and the doctrine does not therefore apply to her.

Peter Johnson Jr., a legal analyst for FOX News, has said the family in this instance is wrong to think Cassandra can simply refuse treatment, given she is a minor. “The state of Connecticut has an obligation to prevent suicide. If she does not get this treatment, this is a form of suicide, and frankly the American Civil Liberties Union is complicit in her death if she dies,” said Johnson.

Since being under the custody of the DCF, Cassandra has undergone the chemotherapy and doctors have said she is responding well to it.

John E Tucker, the assistant Connecticut attorney general, told NBC News, “To interrupt that treatment would be devastating, even more devastating than delaying the treatment in the initial instance.”

“She knows I love her and I’m going to keep fighting for her because this is her decision,” said Fortin, according to NPR. “I know more than anyone, more than DCF, that my daughter is old enough, mature enough to make a decision. If she wasn’t, I’d be making that decision.”

A teen is told she has to receive chemotherapy by the state

A Connecticut teen who was recently diagnosed with cancer is being forced by the state to undergo chemotherapy treatment.

The 17-year-old girl, who has been identified in court papers as “Cassandra C.”, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a rare form of cancer, in September 2014. Doctors recommended she undergo a series of chemotherapy treatments, but Cassandra refused with the support of her mother, Jackie Fortin.

She has always—even years ago—said that if she was diagnosed with cancer, she would not put poison into her body,” said Jackie, according to NBC Connecticut

Once she refused treatment, Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families became involved by petitioning for, and receiving, temporary custody of the teen and by saying, according to FOX CT, the teen needed the treatment and she would receive it.

“Following a hearing at which Cassandra’s doctors testified, the trial court ordered that she be removed from her home and that she remain in DCF’s care and custody,” read court papers according to CBS Connecticut. “The court also authorized DCF to make all necessary medical decisions on Cassandra’s behalf.”

Cassandra ran away from the hospital she was placed in shortly after she had received the first two chemo-treatments.

Since receiving the treatments, Cassandra and Jackie argued forcing chemotherapy on Cassandra was a violation of their rights to choose treatment or not.  “It’s a question of fundamental constitutional rights–the right to have a say over what happens to your body–and the right to say to the government ‘you can’t control what happens to my body,’” said Jackie.

Michael Taylor, Jackie and Cassandra’s attorney, said the decision should not be a decision the state’s government gets involved in. “That really ought to be up to Cassandra. It ought not to be for the state to jump in and say ‘well, regardless of your decision, we think we know better,'” said Taylor. 

The Connecticut Supreme Court will hear this case Thursday, but until then, Cassandra must stay in the hospital and continue the state mandated treatment program.