]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]       THE ALARA ALARM        [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[
      Letter to ther Editor by Freeman 10602PANC       (4/1/1989)
[Printed in Gannett Westchester Newspapers, 30 Mar 1989, p.A19:1]

                                             Oleg Panczenko
                                             12 Madison Ave.
                                             Ossining, NY   10562
                                             Work: 914-769-7800
Letters to the Editor
Gannett Westchester Newspapers
One Gannett Drive
White Plains, NY   10604
                                                    20 March 1989
To the Editor:
   Perhaps by  now Americans  are settled  down enough  to take a
more dispassionate view  of the recent  pesticide scare which was
masterfully  orchestrated  by   the  National  Resources  Defense
Council (NRDC), an anti-industrial lobby.
   The scientific view of pesticides, other chemicals, and cancer
was  summarized  by  Dr  Bruce  N.  Ames  of  the  Department  of
Biochemistry,  University   of  California,   Berkeley,  and  his
colleagues in the magazine Science (April 17, 1987):
   ``Extrapolation from the  results of rodent  cancer tests done
at  high doses  to  effects on  humans  exposed to  low  doses is
routinely  attempted  by  regulatory  agencies  when  formulating
policies attempting  to prevent  future cancer.   There is little
sound scientific  basis for this  type of  extrapolation, in part
due  to  our  lack  of   knowledge  about  mechanisms  of  cancer
induction,  and   it  is  viewed   with  great   unease  by  many
epidemiologists and toxicologists. ...''
   ``There is increasing  evidence that our  normal diet contains
many  rodent carcinogens,  all  perfectly natural  or traditional
(for example, from the  cooking of food), and  that no human diet
can  be  entirely  free  of   mutagens  or  agents  that  can  be
carcinogenic in rodent systems. ...''
   ``We are ingesting in  our diet at least  10,000 times more by
weight of natural pesticides than of man-made pesticide residues.
These  are  natural  ``toxic chemicals''  that  have  an enormous
variety  of  chemical structures,  appear  to be  present  in all
plants, and serve  to protect plants  against fungi, insects, and
animal  predators. ...  they commonly  make  up 5  to 10%  of the
plant's dry weight. ...''
   ``[S]ynthetic pesticide residues in  foods ... [are] likely to
be a  minimal carcinogenic hazard  relative to  the background of
natural carcinogens.''

                             Oleg Panczenko


[Sysop's Note:
   Here is a letter the way it should be: short and fact-filled. More
people have read this letter than the editorials in the Gannett West-
chester newspapers.  Please read and IN YOUR OWN WORDS send to your 
own local newspapers! Do not forget to point out who took the apple 
out of schoolboys' mouths: the National Resources Defense Council.]

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