President's Cancer Panel Report:
"environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated."
By Jackie Barnhardt, (Outreach and Membership Director 1999-2011)
On May 6, The President's Cancer Panel released Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now. "The true burden of environmentally induced cancers has been grossly underestimated," said the President's Cancer Panel in the report urging action to reduce Americans' extensive exposure to carcinogens.
The panel advised President Obama "To use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase health care costs, cripple our nation's productivity, and devastate American lives."
This 240 page report is the first to emphasize the environmental causes of cancer. The panel was created by an act of Congress in 1971 and is responsible for overseeing the multi-billion-dollar National Cancer Program. It is accountable directly to the President annually. The report was submitted to the president by Dr. LaSalle Leffall, Jr., an oncologist and professor of surgery at Howard University, and Dr. Margaret L. Kripke, an immunologist at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
The report also recommends that a precautionary, preventative-oriented approach should replace current reactionary approaches to contaminants. "Exposure to pesticides can be decreased by choosing, to the extent possible, food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers... Similarly, exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, and toxic run-off from livestock feed lots can be minimized by eating free-range mraised without these medications."
In a letter to President Obama, the panel stated "The American people even before they are born are bombarded continually with myriad combinations of these dangerous exposures. The Panel urges you most strongly to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase health care costs, cripple our nation's productivity, and devastate American lives."
This full report is available online at: http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/ pcp/annualreports/pcp08-09rpt/PCP_Report_08-09_ 508.pdf