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Enviro-Mich message from Rane Curl <ranecurl@engin.umich.edu>

On Sat, 19 May 2001, David Zaber wrote:

> I would ask which "very useful" chemical has been banned due only to a
> positive result in the Ames assay?


> As for the animal models, I'm not ready to wait till cancers (or other
> effects) show up in humans before steps are taken to reduce or
> eliminate human exposures if a chemical causes adverse impacts in
> animal models.

That is your choice, but is not the issue in contention, which is whether
the news release about the LFA report gave a fair and balanced assessment
of the question of whether pesticides cause cancer.

Ames himself has become very critical of animal model tests, because of a
large number of factors that come into play when large doses are employed
in such tests.

> The bottom line here is that the Lymphoma study raises important
> questions about human exposures to pesticides.  Clearly, not all
> pesticides cause lymphoma, however.

We agree on that. But the material that was posted here about the LFA
report was anecdotal, sounded chosen to create concern where none may be
justified, did not identify the "panel of nationally recognized
scientists", and did not cite any contrary views.

In any case, I asserted nothing about any link between pesticides and
cancer, but only questioned the alarmist tone of the material presented.

The complete report "Do Pesticides Cause Lymphoma" is available at the
website http://www.lymphomahelp.org/docs/research/research_report.asp

I sampled this, and discovered that the "panel of nationally recognized
scientists" were only acknowledged as having made suggestions and
comments, but no claim was made that they in any way approved of the
contents of the report, and no comments from them were reported.

I also sampled the included extensive abstracts of papers that have been
published concerning links between pesticides and lymphoma, and found that
none were definitive, some found a *negative* correlation, and most
clearly did not consider all possible associated causes for effects

My conclusion is that the report is an advocacy document, not a scientific

--Rane L. Curl

P.S. I would like to state that I am very critical also of the similar,
but opposite, advocacy positions that have been taken by industrial
representatives. What is missing from both sides of many similar issues
are fundamental, repeated, well founded, scientific studies yielding
definitive conclusions.

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