Dispatch: Praise be Thun

By ACSH Staff — May 07, 2010

As the President's Cancer Panel's fear-mongering recommendations continue to reverberate through the media, a seat at the ACSH Dispatch table goes to Dr. Michael J. Thun, vice president emeritus of the American Cancer Society's division of Epidemiology & Surveillance Research. In an online statement, Thun calls the report "unbalanced by its implication that pollution is the major cause of cancer, and by its dismissal of cancer prevention efforts aimed at the major known causes of cancer (tobacco, obesity, alcohol, infections, hormones, sunlight) as 'focussed narrowly.'

"The report is most provocative when it restates hypotheses as if they were established facts," Thun says. "For example, its conclusion that 'the true burden of environmentally (i.e. pollution) induced cancer has been grossly underestimated' does not represent scientific consensus. Rather, it reflects one side of a scientific debate that has continued for almost 30 years."

As might be expected for speaking out against junk science, the ACS is taking some hits. Pete Myers, a co-author of the alarmist screed, "Our Stolen Future," this morning via Twitter accused the group of "defend[ing] chemical contamination" and denying its role in causing cancer. When ACSH's Jeff Stier spoke up for the organization, the best Myers could do was call us "the voice of the chemical industry."

"I know many of our donors take offense to that," Stier adds.