Cancer Panel Critics Portray Ignorance as Bliss
The President’s Cancer Panel, in the April 2010 report Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk, implores the nation’s scientists and policymakers to decisively address the potential harm from over 80,000 manmade chemicals. This call-to-action is dense with
stunning facts and a willingness to question accepted wisdom. The document is clearly written, immensely readable, and more suspenseful than a mystery or spy thriller.
The Panel directly takes on some of the wealthiest and most powerful lobbies in the US. The chemical, agricultural, pharmaceutical, medical care, and medical research industries all face intense and direct scrutiny. The Panel also highlights the weakness of government “regulatory” agencies, which often do little more than rubber stamp industry requests at the public’s expense. The Panel even takes the military to task for its unchecked role in spreading carcinogens.
Yet the report is not sensational or strident in tone. It doesn’t have to be. The facts speak for themselves, and any extraneous commentary or criticism would only weaken the conclusions. Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk is meticulously researched, with 454 direct references and input from 45 experts from academia, government, industry, and advocacy groups who testified at Panel meetings.
You might think that it’s just common sense that toxic manmade chemicals may cause cancer and other serious health problems. You might believe that major scientific organizations would welcome investigation into this critical and poorly understood topic.