If You're a Rat, Cut the Dioxin

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A World-Wide item May 16 referred to a report on dioxin by the EPA's Scientific Advisory Board concluding that "dioxin causes cancer." Perhaps true, if you were referring to rats. While agreeing that the evidence was sound to incriminate dioxin as a rodent carcinogen, there was "a lack of consensus . . . with regard to whether [dioxin] satisfies EPA's 1996 draft cancer Guidelines criteria for a human cancer hazard." The board members could not even agree that dioxin was a carcinogen in highly exposed workers. While some panel members thought classification as a human carcinogen was justified, "a larger number of the members do not support the classification of [dioxin] as a human carcinogen. . . ."