Everything Gives You Cancer


The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) may not sound familiar but you’ve heard of their research findings. They’re part of the World Health Organization (WHO) which is part of the United Nations. They’re the ones that recently announced bacon is in the same category of cancer risk as plutonium. One of America’s favorite processed breakfast foods is not alone.

Everything, everything gives you cancer.
Everything, everything gives you cancer.
There’s no cure, there’s no answer,
Everything gives you cancer.

Don’t touch that dial.
Don’t try to smile.
Just take this pill,
It’s in your file.

Over the past forty years the IARC has looked at 989 substances and activities, from arsenic to hairdressing, and found one, an ingredient in nylon used in stretchy yoga pants and toothbrush bristles, was “probably not” likely to cause cancer in humans, according to Reuters.

Don’t work hard.
Don’t play hard.
Don’t plan for the graveyard.
Remember,

Everything, everything gives you cancer.
Everything, everything gives you cancer.
There’s no cure, there’s no answer.
Everything gives you cancer.

The rest of the 988 substances have some level of cancer hazard or need further research, according to the IARC, ranging from plutonium, mustard gas, tobacco, wood dust to Chinese salted fish. The article cites several problems with the group’s findings and its approach,

  • The findings confuse people as to what is truly hazardous.
  • The agency doesn’t look at the relative risk of using one thing over another.
  • Findings are based on people being exposed to hypothetical, possibly astronomical, amounts of substances.
  • Many of those reviewing research for the IARC and creating “monographs” about various substances are reviewing their own work or the work of friends or colleagues which doesn’t encourage a very close review or criticism of research methods or findings.

Don’t work by night.
Don’t sleep by day.
You’ll feel all right,
But you will pay.

No caffeine.
No protein.
No booze or nicotine.
Remember,

Everything, everything gives you cancer.
Everything, everything gives you cancer.
There’s no cure, there’s no answer,
Everything gives you cancer.

One scientist who attended the IARC discussions on the cancer risk of red and processed meat anonymously complained about how sloppy and possibly biased in favor of finding, if not exaggerating, a cancer risk IARC’s practices were.

In its meat assessment, IARC went beyond its normal remit of assessing hazard, not risk. It gave specific warnings about the risk of eating red and processed meat products.

IARC said, for example, that for each 50 gram piece of processed meat eaten daily, the risk of a person developing colon cancer increases by 18 percent. The observer who spoke to Reuters said these data appeared “to come from nowhere, overnight.”

The observer said: “I expected that the science would be reviewed with a high level of rigor. But quite frankly, at the end of the 10 days, from a scientific standpoint I was really quite shocked.”

No caffeine.
No protein.
No booze or nicotine.
Remember,

Everything, everything gives you cancer.
Everything, everything gives you cancer.
There’s no cure, there’s no answer,
Everything gives you cancer.

Cancer, Joe Jackson

Next time you hear about this food or that food or this substance or that substance causing cancer, take it with a grain of (cancer causing) salt. It very well might or in the ordinary course of your life and your actual exposure to it, maybe not.

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