It is interesting to note that only 100 years ago, cancer caused a little more than 3 percent of all deaths in Europe and less in America. And 100 years earlier than that, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, cancer was responsible for less than 1 percent of all deaths. Now cancer kills one out of four American men and one out of five women. Many explanations can be advanced for this huge increase in cancer deaths including changes in infectious diseases, changes in diagnostic procedures in medicine, changes in exposure to known carcinogens such as tobacco smoke, and changes in life expectancy. But the increasing presence of human made carcinogens in our food supply is surely a contributing factor.
More cases of cancer than ever are being linked with poisonous human made chemicals. Cancers of all kinds have been linked with exposure to industrial pollutants and pesticides in food and water. Research and studies for a variety of organizations, including the Arizona Republic newspaper and the National Academy of Sciences, show that thousands of people potentially will get cancer from insecticides lodged in meat and poultry alone and that thousands more cancers could result just from insecticides lodged in dairy foods and fish.
According to the National Cancer Institute, between 1950 and 1985 in the United States:
- Cancer incidence among children under 15 (who provide an early warning system of problems that will afflict the overall population as it ages) increased 32 percent. Exposure to toxic chemicals in the womb can initiate childhood cancer.
- Urinary bladder cancer incidence increased 51 percent. Scientists have linked increased incidence to exposure to toxic chemicals that taint tap water.
- Testicular cancer incidence increased 81 percent. Testicular cancer occurs in significant proportion among farm workers and manufacturers of pesticides such as methyl bromide.
- Kidney and renal pelvis cancer incidence increased 82 percent; mortality increased by 23 percent. Kidney cancer is associated with toxins in drinking water.
- Reported incidents of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, linked with pesticide exposures, rose by 123 percent with 26,500 new cases in 1985.
- Hodgkin’s disease, also linked in a European study with agricultural chemicals, increased in incidence 24 percent.