Book Reviews: America's War on "Carcinogens"

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The journal Technology (Vol. 9, No.s 5-6) featured a review by Sorin R. Straja ACSH's book America's War on "Carcinogens", saying, in part:

Contrary to common perceptions, and despite the so-called "war on cancer" started more than three decades ago, no epidemic of cancer associated with environmental chemicals is occurring in the United States. This monograph, published by the American Council on Science and Health, presents a critical analysis of the U.S. war on "carcinogens" with particular emphasis on the role of animal carcinogen testing in determining whether or not a given chemical compound poses a cancer risk to human beings...

During the last 50 years, results from animal carcinogen testing have prompted numerous public health scares as discussed in Chapter 9. These incidents began with the "cranberry crisis" in 1959 and worries about DDT in the early 1960s, and have continued until the present day, when concerns about PCBs in farmed salmon frequently appear in the news. In all these cases there was no reason to expect any significant health benefit resulting from the withdrawal of the products from the market. In some cases (e.g., DDT) taking the product off the market had a significant adverse impact. As presented in Chapter 10, overreliance on animal carcinogenicity data for predicting human cancer risks has diverted both public attention and financial resources from proven causes of cancer.