A Necessary Survey?

A Necessary Survey? I was interested to see that the CDC now runs an analysis of chemicals in the human body which were not there 75 years ago,1 but disturbed that it was limited only to synthetic chemicals claiming some association with cancer. From present work it seems that about one-half of natural and synthetic chemicals are carcinogenic in high dose. Surely our diet has changed substantially in the last 75 years to place natural chemicals as likewise warranting investigation. Apart f

Anthony Trewavas
May 18, 2003

A Necessary Survey?


I was interested to see that the CDC now runs an analysis of chemicals in the human body which were not there 75 years ago,1 but disturbed that it was limited only to synthetic chemicals claiming some association with cancer. From present work it seems that about one-half of natural and synthetic chemicals are carcinogenic in high dose. Surely our diet has changed substantially in the last 75 years to place natural chemicals as likewise warranting investigation. Apart from the new(er) fruits and vegetables that we now consume (e.g., kiwi, pomegranate, passion fruit, yam, soy bean--new at least in the UK), year-round availability of virtually all the common fruits with increased consumption, novel methods of processing, and plant breeding has provided numerous varieties in which it is clear that some natural chemicals have either been eliminated or induced.

To limit such investigations to supposed synthetic environmental...

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