Biden misses the point on cancer fight
In President Biden’s state of the union address Tuesday night, he pledged his devotion to a fierce “fight against cancer,” invoking a heart-tugging story of baby “Ava,” who began battling kidney cancer at the age of 1.
Biden spoke of a reignited “Cancer Moonshot” search for a cure for cancers that are impacting far too many lives, and of measures to cut healthcare costs to make treating cancer more affordable. He outlined an ambitious goal to cut cancer death rates by at least 50% in the next 25 years, and to “turn more cancers from death sentences to treatable diseases, provide more support for patients and their families.”
But nowhere in his lengthy prime-time address did Biden speak of working to rein in the vast, virtually unchecked, flood of environmental chemical contaminants that scientists say cause cancer.
A new book scheduled for release in May written by journalist Kristina Marusic lays out in stark terms how already-staggeringly highly rates of cancer are sure to continue to climb if we don’t slash our exposure to the chemicals known to cause cancer.
The harsh statistics are detailed by Phil Landrigan, director of the Program for Global Public Health and the Common Good at Boston College, in the introduction to Marusic’s A New War on Cancer: The Unlikely Heroes Revolutionizing Prevention.
Landrigan writes: “From 1975 to to 2019, the number of new cancer cases per 100,000 Americans—the incidence rate—increased for multiple cancers. Incidence of multiple myeloma rose by 46%, incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma by 76%, and incidence of testicular cancer by 70%. In the same years, incidence of childhood leukemia increased by 35% and incidence of childhood brain cancer by 33%. These increases are far too rapid to be of genetic origin. They cannot be explained by better diagnosis.”
“The explanation for the increasing incidence of cancer lies in our world of chemicals. Since the dawn of the chemical era in the early twentieth century, more than 300,000 new chemicals have been invented. These are novel materials that never before existed on Earth. Many are made from oil and natural gas. They are manufactured in enormous quantities, and global production is on track to double by 2030.
Chemical pollution has become so widespread and complex that in 2022, an expert body at the Stockholm Environmental Institute concluded that chemical pollution now exceeds our ability to monitor and contain it and thus threatens the sustainability of human societies.
The World Health Organization has determined that more than 100 manufactured chemicals can cause cancer in humans.”
The fact that many widely used chemicals cause cancer – not to mention a range of other human health problems – is widely known in scientific circles.
But for Biden and most of our elected leaders, these facts are clearly too politically uncomfortable to address, or even acknowledge.
US Sen. Cory Booker recently reintroduced a bill aimed at banning some of the most clearly dangerous pesticides used in our country – chemicals already banned in the European Union. But even Booker and his staff admit they have no hope the measure will become law anytime soon. As Booker’s counsel Adam Zipkin told me, Booker has laid out a “wish list” for the future but is not wasting time pushing big reforms he knows have “no realistic chance” in overcoming opposition from the powerful chemical industry and the lack of political will in Washington to challenge the industry.
Meanwhile, the suffering goes on. It’s so common now, to have cancer.
Marusic details the human toll in her upcoming book:
- Half of all American men and one in three women can expect to get some type of cancer diagnosis in their lifetimes.
- One in every 285 American children receives a cancer diagnosis before the age of 20, with cancer rates for children increasing steadily over the last 50 years.
- A presidential panel determined years ago that up to two-thirds of all cancer cases are linked to preventable environmental exposures.
Biden’s upbeat public address glossed over those ugly truths, focusing instead on feel-good rhetoric: “For the lives we can save… and the lives we have lost, let this be a truly American moment that rallies the country and the world together and prove that we can still do big things. Let’s end cancer as we know it and cure some cancers once and for all.”
Efforts to find a cure are necessary, of course. The same is true for moves to cut drug costs. But without a serious effort at prevention that includes putting public health over the corporate profits of chemical companies, reducing exposures to cancer-causing chemicals, we ensure the suffering and pain and loss of precious lives continues.
As Landrigan points out in the book’s introduction, most of the manufactured chemicals that are known to be human carcinogens are still sold today in the United States, with a mere five hazardous chemicals removed from US markets in the past 50 years. “Chemical policy in this country is broken,” he writes.
This is a book Biden really needs to read.
February 14, 2023 @ 7:38 am
Carey Gillam’s article is 100% correct. The enraged comment by Javelon is also essentially correct. Beginning in 1989 I worked for 27 years at the WA State Dept. of Ecology in the Pollution Prevention Planning and Toxics Reduction sections of that public agency. Our very progressive focus was on working with businesses and other users of hazardous chemicals to reduce their use of those chemicals and reduce their generation of hazardous waste. We had some successes but would you like to know WHY we were not MORE successful? Our agency became politically conflicted. The American Chemistry Council thwarted every effort the agency made to acquire more authority from the WA legislature/provide prevention incentives to hazardous chemical users in the state. The politicians controlled our budget and that made every environmental issue a political one instead of a science-based discussion aimed at solutions. The FIRST step in resolving this is eliminating CORPORATE Personhood and MONEY as free speech in our elections. We have to kill the Corporate Dragon and unplug the Corporate BORG if we want a return to real Democracy and actual problem-solving. Movetoamend.org has a bill in Congress to accomplish that…check it out! If you want to hear more about my experiences working against toxic chemicals, email me. So far I’ve had two types of cancer, but I’m still here…fighting for our living planet Earth. MB.
February 11, 2023 @ 12:11 am
Re “war on cancer”
Most people would be much smarter and better informed if they had awareness of what the “war on cancer” movement (and the “Breast Cancer Awareness” movement) does NOT raise awareness about.
The official mainstream “war on cancer” has been an unofficial “war” on the unsuspecting public: to keep them misinformed and misguided about the real truth of this “war.” The latest program/”promise” is an extension or reincarnation of the enduring deep racket.
This PHONY official “war” was never meant to be won but to be CONTINUED (preferably endlessly, at least for decades) so that the criminal BIG allopathic medical business (the medical mafia) built around them makes insane profits and defraud the general naive/stupid public, which they’ve been doing successfully … so “THEY ARE winning THEIR war against the general forever-naive/forever-stupid public”..
The orthodox cancer establishment has been saying a cure for cancer “is just around the corner” and “we’re winning the war on cancer” for decades. It’s all hype and lies (read Dr. Guy Faguet’s ‘War on cancer,” Dr. Sam Epstein’s work, or Clifton Leaf’s book, or Dr. Siefried’s work on this bogus ‘war’, etc). The criminal medical establishment deliberate and falsely self-servingly claims and distorts a ‘win’ in the bogus ‘war on cancer’ when the only truly notably win is a reduction in lung cancer due to a huge reduction in smoking, which has NOTHING to do with their cancer treatments. Lying is their mode of operation.
Since the war on cancer began orthodox medicine hasn’t progressed in their basic highly profitable therapies: it still uses primarily and almost exclusively highly toxic, deadly things like radiation, chemo, surgery, and drugs that have killed millions of people instead of the disease.
As long as the official “war on cancer” is a HUGE BUSINESS based on expensive TREATMENTS (INTERVENTIONS) of a disease instead of its PREVENTION, logically, they will never find a cure for cancer. The moonshot-war on cancer inventions, too, includes industry-profitable gene therapies of cancer treatment that are right in line with the erroneous working model of mechanistic reductionism of allopathic medicine.
The lucrative game of the medical business is to endlessly “look for” a cure but not “find” a cure. Practically all resources in the phony ‘war on cancer’ are poured into TREATMENT of cancer but almost none in the PREVENTION of the disease. Eg, Heidi Williams, the director of science policy at the Institute for Progress, explained that from the time the “War on Cancer” was announced, in 1971, until 2015, only six drugs were approved to prevent any cancer. From 1973 to 2011, nearly 30,000 trials were run for drugs that treated recurrent or metastatic cancer, compared with fewer than 600 for cancer prevention.
It’s IRREFUTABLE PROOF POSITIVE that BIG MONEY and a TOTAL LACK OF ETHICS rule the official medical establishment.
It’s just like with any bogus official “war” (‘war on drugs’, ‘war on terrorism’, ‘war on covid’ etc) — it’s not about winning these wars but to primarily prolong them because behind any of these fraudulent “war” rackets of the criminal establishment is a Big Business, such as the massive cancer industry. The very profitable TREATMENT focus of conventional medicine, instead of a PREVENTION focus which these official medical quacks (or rather crooks) can hardly make any money off, is a major reason why today 1 of 2 men and 1 in 3 women can expect a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lifetimes yet that rate was multiple times lower 5 decades ago when the phony ‘war on cancer’ began (1 in about 16). And 5 decades ago when this bogus war began cancer was the second leading cause of death and 50 years later it is STILL the second leading cause of death in the country this “war” was declared in. These facts alone prove we are NOT winning the war on cancer.
At the same time, this same orthodox cancer cartel has been suppressing and squashing a number of very effective and beneficial alternative cancer approaches. You probably guessed why: effective, safe, inexpensive cancer therapies are cutting into the astronomical profits of the medical mafia’s lucrative treatments. That longstanding decadent activity is part of the fraud of the war on cancer.
If the public were to scrutinize what the medical industry and its government pawns are telling them about the ‘war on cancer’ instead of blindly believing what they’re saying, they’d find that the cancer industry and the cancer charities have been dismissing, ignoring, and obfuscating the true causes of cancer while mostly putting the blame for cancer on the individual, denying or dismissing the serious harms from orthodox cancer treatments and chemical toxicants, and resorting to deceptive cancer statistics to “educate” (think: mislead) the public that their way of treatment is actually successful — read this well referenced scholarly article’s (“A Mammogram Letter The British Medical Journal Censored”) afterword on the war on cancer at https://www.rolf-hefti.com/mammogram.html (scroll down to the afterword that addresses the fraudulent ‘war on cancer’).
What the medical establishment “informs” the public about is about as truthful as what the political establishment keeps telling them. Not to forget, the corporate media (the mainstream fake news media) is a willing tool to spread these distortions, lies, and the scam of the war on cancer.
Does anyone really think it’s a coincidence that double Nobel laureate Linus Pauling called the ‘war on cancer’ a fraud? If you look closer you’ll come to the same conclusion. But…politics and self-serving interests of the conventional medical cartel, and their allied corporate media, keep the real truth far away from the public at large. Or people’s own denial or indifference of the real truth.
February 10, 2023 @ 9:06 pm
Totally agree! There should be no acceptable level of discharge of any chemical that doesn’t occur naturally or will be quickly broken down to something occurring naturally. With cancer, all we have to do is look to the latest research with firefighter and other first responder cancers. There are over 200 toxins in fire smoke for a simple structure fire. The rates are starting to fall a little due to better practices including gross decontamination, keeping dirty turnouts out of the passenger compartment, switching hoods after each fire, and everyone showers after every fire to remove toxins and prevent dermal absorption. The biggest problem is that we have idiots in office who think they know everything and won’t listen to experts. I’ve been involved in campaigns and lobbying and then went into healthcare and first responder toxicology research, so I have experience on both sides. BOTH parties have been overrun with extremists who refuse to work together with the other party and listen to experts in these fields nc they feel they know it all, when in fact they know very little about anything outside of polmoney.
Another problem is the fact that the politicians are beholden to those who fund their campaigns and doctors and pharmaceutical companies/people contribute large amounts of money. There are numerous potential cures or, at the very least, better methods of treating cancer that are less harsh on the patient’s body. However, these are never taken to human trials bc the only way of financing such testing is via the pharmaceutical companies! Cancer is a big business!! Oncologists and pharmaceutical companies generate huge revenues each year from.things like chemo!! Otherwise we woukd have realized several cures or at least treatments to slow progression years ago and more continuing to be developed. Ask any cancer researcher and they’ll tell you that finding a cure is an exercise in futility. When a possible cure is found, the chance of Big Pharma taking it to trials reats at about 5% So why do it? Because the government offers grants for research, researchers need that money to obtain tenure, and they’re going to keep going in case something is decided to be taken to trials. They also can’t speak out too loudly or they’ll be blacklisted for future grant consideration.
But cancer isnt the only proble.. Our elected “leaders” use the FDA to protect their interests or those of family or friends on many pharmaceutical fronts. The best example is Epi Pens. Sen Joe Manchin’s daughter is President and CEO of the only company that makes Epi Pens, which is why they’ve become so expensive. Yet, we make naloxone for opioid OD as available as candy! 97% of opioid ODs are due to illicit drug use and bad personal decisions. Anaphylactic allergic reaction requiring an Epi Pen are something that the person cannot control. However, anyone can get naloxone, while only those who can afford several hundreds of dollars will get an Epi Pen. Worse still is the fact that most people requiri g Epi Pens have such bad reactions that they require 2 Epi Pen injections to give first responders time enough to arrive to continue treating instead having to employ serious critical care interventions bc the person has crashed.
As this article points out, our “leaders” have no clue on how to achieve these goals. The only thing they care about is re-election. It’s great to come up with beautiful suggestions to problems, but they have no plan or any idea how to achieve their soundbyte.