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Sara Lee the Only Bread Tested Positive for Cancer-Causing Pesticide

Could Sara Lee wheat bread products, complete with malathion, be contributing to women’s breast cancer? That’s what a study from the International Journal of Molecular Medicine suggests—not that they name the company specifically but because HealthyLivinG Foundation does: an independent laboratory has detected this cancer-causing pesticide in a Sara Lee bread product sold to shoppers in California, and new research suggests a sinister link between this pesticides and breast cancer.[i]  

Breads and bakery products are among the most likely products to be contaminated with malathion and preliminary testing by the HLF suggests that Sara Lee may be one of the companies whose products contain this chemical known to cause cancer.


The identification of genes involved in the process of cancer transformation is essential for analyzing hazards from chemical pesticides and their combinations with each other and chemicals such as estrogen produced endogensously; key suspects in a link between environmental chemicals and breast cancer: organophosphorous pesticides and estrogen or estrogenic chemicals. “It is important to consider the impact of such substances when they are present in combination.”

The aim of this work was to examine the effect of 17beta estradiol (estrogen) combined with malathion on the transformation of human breast cells into cancerous ones. “Results showed that estrogen combined with … malathion… altered cell proliferation and induced cell transformation as well as exhibited significant invasive capabilities as compared to the control MCF-10F cell line. Several genes were up-regulated by the effect of all of the treatments, such as the cyclins, cyclin D1 and cyclin-dependent kinase 4, IGFBP3 and IGFBP5, and keratin 18. The c-Ha-ras oncogene was up-regulated by the effect of malathion alone and with the combination of estrogen and malathion parathion. The DVL1 gene was up-regulated only with malathion alone. Expression of the HSP 27, MCM2 and TP53 inducible protein 3 genes was up-regulated with malathion alone and with the combination of estrogen and malathion. “Thus, we suggest that pesticides and estrogens affect human breast cells inducing molecular changes indicative of transformation.”

HealthyLivinG Foundation has also tested other brands of breads that don’t have malathion and will be posting these results shortly. But for now do stay away from Sara Lee products until we give you the all clear.


 [i] Calaf GM, Roy D.Cancer genes induced by malathion and parathion in the presence of estrogen in breast cells. Int J Mol Med. 2008 Feb;21(2):261-8.