When the American Cancer Society Calls You Out …


President's Panel lies for justice?

…It's pretty good evidence that you're a scaremongering regulatory shill. As I noted yesterday, the President's Cancer Panel released a alarmist report asserting that the burden of cancers caused by environmental exposures to carcinogens was "grossly underestimated." By environmental, the panel focused chiefly on exposures to man-made chemicals. As I also noted, the new claims being made by the report seemed grossly overestimated based on the science. In response to the new report, the American Cancer Society has issued a press release that is highly critical of the panel's report. The release states:

Unfortunately, the perspective of the report is unbalanced by its implication that pollution is the major cause of cancer, and by its dismissal of cancer prevention efforts aimed at the major known causes of cancer (tobacco, obesity, alcohol, infections, hormones, sunlight) as "focussed narrowly."

The report is most provocative when it restates hypotheses as if they were established facts.  For example, its conclusion that "the true burden of environmentally (i.e. pollution) induced cancer has been grossly underestimated" does not represent scientific consensus.  Rather, it reflects one side of a scientific debate that has continued for almost 30 years.

In other words, the President's Cancer Panel report is an advocacy document masquerading as science. For more scientifically based information on the burden of cancer caused by environmental exposures, please take a look at the article, "American Cancer Society Perspectives on Enviromental Factors and Cancer," published in the Cancer Journal for Clinicians last October.

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  1. Obviously the president’s cancer panel is underfunded.

  2. The only thing that causes cancer is manbearpig!

  3. Right, but since they’re lying for a good cause, it’s all OK! Right?

  4. Panels like these should be banned as dangerous to small children, because every time I read one I get mad enough to punch a baby.

  5. For example, its conclusion that “the true burden of environmentally (i.e. pollution) induced cancer has been grossly underestimated” does not represent scientific consensus.

    You know what would help? A graph.

    Maybe one with an abrupt upward change in slope, projected to infinity.

    1. We could call it “the hockey stick graph

  6. The intellectual process here is really very galling. It goes something like this:

    1. Life would be “better” if chemicals were driven off the market.

    2. People are really afraid of cancer.

    3. Although there’s no evidence supporting the panel’s claims, it’s OK to make the claim anyway because if people get scared they might drive chemicals off the market, and this will make life “better”.

    1. Yep, it’s all part of Obama’s secret plan to make your life worse just for the hell of it.

      1. It’s for teh lulz.

      2. It’s not a secret, per se.

      3. Obama hasn’t been in office long enough to be responsible for any government foul-ups. It’s not like he spent his first 100 days reviewing the previous administration’s policy decisions. (really though – we can hardly blame him for every agencies attention whoring and hyperbole)

        Small government Nixon gets credit for the very existence of this panel.

  7. Oh, American Cancer Society, if only you weren’t such meddling bastards in proscribing legal bans on personal behavior that you find problematic.

    Still, props for calling out the much bigger meddling bastards, heavily armed with their lysenkoism.

    1. “proscribing” or “prescribing”?

      Remember, PIMF…

      1. Yes, prescribing.

      2. Proscribing works okay, too. The ACS is advancing legal bans that proscribe personal behavior. Big Brother likes it because we want all behavior to be collective. Oh, how I love Big Brother.

        1. ACS in the above is the American Cancer Society, not to be confused with the American Chemical Society.

          1. I would think that the American Chemical Society would also be against this report.

            1. Yes, but the American Chemical Society does not love Big Brother.

              1. You weren’t here for Vietnam.

  8. So, it the American Cancer Society now a poison chemical denier?

  9. Glad to see the president is fulfilling his campaign promise to “return Science to its rightful place”…as part of the propaganda machine.

  10. So Mr. Bailey is simultaneously stating that the report must be wrong and yet also tells us that there is a scientific debate around the issue?


    1. Dan… you can’t do any better than that?

  11. Dan T. Please read the ACS article I linked to in the post. It will help clear up your confusion.

    1. It will help clear up your confusion.

      If only.

    2. Ron, quit patronizing us, we know it won’t. The ACS article/facts won’t ever clear up his(it’s?) confusion.

    3. Yo Ron, ACS = American Chemical Society.

    4. Ah, Ron, you cockeyed optimist.

  12. Cancer causes confusion; the science is settled.

  13. Ron –

    IIRC – Isn’t the ACS, the same group that continues to push the meme that smokeless tobacco is not a safer alternative to smoking when their research clearly shows that it is?

    1. I believe that was his point — as bad as they are, if they call someone hyperbolic, they must be completely full of it.

      1. cynical: You’re very discerning. 😉

  14. The council panel members are both George W. Bush appointees.

    And about 6 seconds of Teh Google shows ACS’ long history of protecting the chemical industry.

    Reason, indeed.

  15. The American Cancer Society has the balls to question that maybe something else besides happy meals & marlboros cause cancer!!!!! The War on Cancer has been on since 1971 and 200 billion dollars later we’ve seen rates of smoking cut in half but rates of cancer have barely changed!

  16. The ACS is a hugely profitable entity. It’s not interested in preventing cancer. Only screening for it and treating it.

    The ACS is well funded by chemotherapy, pharmaceutical companies and those that make mammogram and other radiation machines. All those industries were called out by this report and the ACS doesn’t like it and they’re just attempting to create a smoke screen to detract from the facts: CHEMICALS CAUSE CANCER.

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