(SilverBulletin) In this and the following installment of the multi-part series on the American Cancer Society (ACS) we will list some of the more dubious actions and inactions by the ACS. This behavior indicates a pattern of obstruction and indifference when it comes to the causes of cancer and unresponsiveness in taking positive actions to serve the public in preventing and curing cancer.
1971 – When studies unequivocally proved that diethylstilbestrol (DES) caused vaginal cancers in teenaged daughters of women administered the drug during pregnancy, the ACS refused an invitation to testify at Congressional hearings to require the FDA to ban its use as an animal feed additive.
1977 – The ACS called for a Congressional moratorium on the FDA's proposed ban on saccharin and even advocated its use by nursing mothers and babies in "moderation" despite clear-cut evidence of its carcinogenicity in rodents. Such a proposal reflects the consistent rejection by the ACS of the value of animal evidence in predicting human cancer risk.
1977-78 – The ACS opposed proposed regulations for hair coloring products that contained dyes suspected of causing breast cancer despite clear evidence those chemicals were clear-cut liver and breast carcinogens.
1978 – Tony Mazzocchi, then senior representative of the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers International Union, stated at a Washington, D.C. roundtable between public interest groups and high-ranking ACS officials: "Occupational safety standards have received no support from the ACS."
1978 – Congressman Paul Rogers censured the ACS for doing "too little, too late" in failing to support the Clean Air Act.
1982 – The ACS adopted a highly restrictive cancer policy that insisted on unequivocal human evidence of carcinogenicity before taking any position on public health hazards.
1983 – The ACS refused to join a coalition of the March of Dimes, American Heart Association, and the American Lung Association to support the Clean Air Act.
1992 – The ACS issued a joint statement with the Chlorine Institute supporting the continued global use of organochlorine pesticides despite clear evidence they caused breast cancer. VP Clark Heath dismissed evidence of risk as "preliminary and mostly based on weak and indirect association."
1992 – The ACS aggressively launched a "chemoprevention" program along with the NCI to recruit 16,000 healthy women supposedly at "high risk'' of breast cancer into a 5-year clinical trial with the highly profitable drug tamoxifen. The women were told tamoxifen was essentially harmless and could reduce their risk of breast cancer. They were not told that tamoxifen was a highly potent liver carcinogen in rodent tests or that it was a well-known aggressive human uterine cancer agent
1993 – Anticipating the PBS Frontline special "In Our Children's Food," the ACS trivialized pesticides as a cause of childhood cancer and charged PBS with "junk science." The ACS asked, "Can we afford the PBS?" When media and concerned citizens contacted local ACS chapters, they received reassurances from a memorandum by ACS Public Relations Vice President stating only potentially high doses of direct contact were dangerous. Examples cited included farm workers who apply the chemicals and work in the fields after the pesticides have been applied, and people living near aerially sprayed fields.
1994 – The ACS published a highly flawed study designed to trivialize cancer risks from the use of dark hair dyes.
In the next installment we will list further questionable ACS actions which occurred after 1995 as well as take a look at the conflicts of interest from those who fund the ACS and sit on its boards.