Breast Cancer? Chemical Company Supplies Cause and Cure
by Kit Smith
Ah, October; month of pumpkins and changing leaves, Halloween , my birthday, and the nearly ubiquitous Breast Cancer Awareness. By now you've been inundated with pink ribbons, pink T-shirts, pink coffee mugs and pink Cadillacs. No wait, those are Mary Kay…. You've maybe shelled out some sponsorship money for runs, hikes, walks, three-legged races and pink-wheelchair-demolition-derbies.
Turns out pink may be the color of Evil.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month was launched in 1985 by Zeneca Pharmaceuticals. Zeneca is the company that manufactures the widely prescribed breast cancer drug Nolvadex (generic name tamoxifen), and operates a chain of cancer care centers. No conflict of interest there! All TV, radio, and print media regarding Breast Cancer Awareness Month are paid for and must be approved by Zeneca. But wait; there's more.
Zeneca is also a major manufacturer of herbicides and fungicides. One of their products, an organo-chlorine herbicide called acetochlor, is implicated as a causal factor in breast cancer. Maybe this isn't such a big deal. It's just one product. Except that it's used to grow corn. It's mixed with another chemical and used to prevent weed growth in corn fields. Production seed corn, field corn, silage corn, and popcorn. Corn, in turn, is fed to chickens, cows, pigs, it's made into syrup which is used as a sweetener, hell it's the first ingredient in most pet foods. Corn is like Elvis, it's everywhere. And the persistent nature of organochlorides means acetochlor is everywhere, too.
How brilliant is that? You poison their food, get them sick, then you sell them the cure! All behind a smokescreen of concern and compassion that has roped in multi-million dollar sponsors like Avon, Lee Denim, the USPS (remember those postage stamps?) and LA City of Hope Hospital.
Meanwhile, the US boasts one of the highest breast cancer rates in the world, and it only increases. Fifty years ago a woman's lifetime risk was cited as one in twenty. Today, it has skyrocketed to one in eight. It's been found that women with breast cancer have four times the levels of DDE (an organo-chlorine pesticide) found in non-carcinogenic tumors. New York State denied registration of acetochlor in 1997 in part due to two rare tumor types found in their rat studies. Researchers of increased breast cancer rates among upper class women in Massachusetts (as compared with their lower economic counterparts) attributed the increase to greater use of professional lawn care service and dry cleaning.
Yet the motto of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is "Early Detection is Your Best Protection." The National Cancer Institute stated in 1995 that "Breast cancer is simply not a preventable disease," and in 1997 the American Cancer Society's announced that "there are no practical ways to prevent breast cancer." All the focus is on damage control--screening, diagnosis, and treatment. Cancer prevention manifests as a "blame-the-victim" approach, emphasizing poor lifestyle habits while downplaying the role of avoidable exposures. You know, like air and water and food.
This aversion to prevention is doubtless driven by the cancer establishment's intimate connections with corporate America. The American Cancer Society was founded with the support of the Rockefellers in 1913, and board members have always included affiliates of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. High-ranking officials in the National Cancer Institute routinely accept lucrative posts in the cancer-drug industry. The fox guarding the chickens? More like the farmer making fried chicken for the fox, after stealing the chickens' wallets to pay the check.
Focusing on the "cure," of course, conveniently ignores the cause. When it comes to the environmental carcinogens found in pesticides, herbicides, and other chemical sources, there is a deafening silence from all Breast Cancer Awareness Month programs. Why? Refer to paragraph three, sentence four.
In case you have a modicum of hope regarding Zeneca's motives, consider that their drug to fight breast cancer is itself a carcinogen. Go ahead, read that again, I'll wait….. The FDA approval included the following text: "The agency notes that caution must be used in prescribing the drug because of its potentially serious side effects including endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus), deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in major veins), and pulmonary embolism (serious blood clots in the lungs)."
There is a small population of women for whom this drug is helpful and appropriate. For most, it represents disease substitution at best, and at worst the ultimate ugly irony: The journal Science published a study from Duke University Medical Center in 1999 showing that after 2 - 5 years, tamoxifen actually initiated the growth of breast cancer. Apparently, some breast cancers adapt to use tamoxifen to stimulate their growth.
The absurdity of a chemical manufacturer sponsoring a health event should have raised some eyebrows, but no major news outlet seems to have picked up this story, though all the evidence is available in publicly accessible documents from the EPA, NIH, FDA, and state government archives. Anyway, you can save your pink ribbon money and maybe buy a water purifier. And some wheat bread. Me, I'm excited. I've got the best, scariest Halloween costume ever: I'm going as an ear of corn.
Photo of Woman Threatened by Chemical Corporation's Lies © Everett Collection Inc. | Dreamstime.com