The Causes and Prevention of Cancer: Do Federal Regulations Help?

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Date(s) - 3/28/200212:00 pm - 1:30 pm

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Dr. Bruce Ames discussed new findings on the causes and prevention of cancer, focusing particularly on the role of diet, lifestyle, and environment.  The bulk of cancer is due to lifestyle factors such as smoking and unbalanced diets. He discussed his evidence that inadequate vitamins and minerals damages DNA in the same manner as radiation, is a major public health problem particularly for the poor, and is amenable to inexpensive remediation. He challenged the belief that environmental synthetic pesticides and chemicals are a significant cause of human cancer. Dr. Ames argued that expending huge amounts of money and effort on the regulation of tiny hypothetical risks does not improve public health, but is a distraction, and diverts resources from real human health hazards.

Dr. Ames is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center at the University of California, Berkeley, and Senior Research Scientist at Children’s Hospital in Oakland. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and is the author of 450 scientific publications. His numerous awards include the National Medal of Science and the Japan Prize.

 

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