Cancer the Leading Cause of Child Deaths in U.S.*
By Melissa Melton
The number one reason blamed for childhood deaths in America used to be accidents; now it’s cancer.
Cancer is the leading cause of childhood death in the United States, with 13,500 new diagnoses each year according to the American Cancer Institute. One out of every 300 boys and one out of every 333 girls will develop cancer before their 20th birthday, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Cancer in America has seen a sharp increase over the last 100 years across all age groups. Data from the U.S. Public Health Service estimates that cancer death rates in 1900 were around 64 per 100,000; that number has increased almost threefold to 188.7 per 100,000 in 2005.
This dramatic increase over a relatively short span of time obviously suggests environmental factors are at play here. So why haven’t all these charitable “run for the cure” cancer drives — fundraisers that happen year after year after year as cancer rates only continue to grow — ever cured anything?
The Cancer Prevention Coalition (CPC) notes that cancer equals big business in this country: Winning the war on cancer means preventing cancer. Yet cancer is a multi-billion dollar business. Isn’t preventing cancer bad for business? It is for the pharmaceutical and mammography businesses. These industries have intricate ties to U. S. policy makers, directing research funds to ensure their continued profits in cancer diagnosis/treatment.
If prevention is key to crushing cancer, then finding out what is actually causing this cancer epidemic from independent studies not funded by the very companies that stand to profit off pointing fingers in the wrong direction is the first step.
What is causing all this cancer, especially the rise in children? Two big factors may be chemicals and electromagnetic radiation.
A whopping 70-90% of any average U.S. grocery store is filled with processed foods full of chemical additives and preservatives, many of which are genetically modified, in addition to the fact that a vast majority of U.S. food is tainted with pesticides. The CPC discusses multiple studies that have come to the same conclusion: continual exposure to the multitude of carcinogenic pesticides in this country’s food supply is killing our kids:
As documented by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), residues of numerous carcinogenic pesticides are commonly found in most fruits and vegetables. Additionally, milk and other dairy products are often laden with carcinogenic pesticides and antibiotics. Factory farm meat, particularly liver, veal, frankfurters and hamburgers, are also contaminated with carcinogenic pesticides, besides growth-stimulating sex hormones and other feed additives.
The Bush [Sr.] Administration has flung open the floodgates to carcinogens in our food. With active support of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has in effect revoked the 1958 Delaney law, which banned intentional contamination of food with any level of carcinogen.
Instead, the EPA now allows residues of any carcinogenic pesticide in any food at levels posing allegedly “acceptable” or “negligible risk,” as determined by manipulated numbers.
Should pesticide in our food really ever be considered “acceptable”?
Michael Taylor, former Monsanto Vice President for Public Policy and our current Food Safety Czar in this Twilight Zone we all live in, wrote
“The De Minimis Interpretation of the Delaney Clause: Legal and Policy Rationale” advocating a change in the interpretation of the 1958 Delaney Clause back in 1988. On it’s face, Delaney literally stated that no carcinogenic agents could be added to processed foods. Taylor’s interpretation paved the way to altering Delaney to be interpreted so that small amounts of known carcinogens could be added to our food, all without regard to the cumulative negative health effects.
Taylor wrote this, by the way, while working at a law firm contracted by Monsanto.
Another potential factor is the continual bathing of our growing children’s brains and bodies in electromagnetic radiation (EMR). Estimates show that those of us living in modern-day America are experiencing 100,000,000 times more electromagnetic frequency (EMF) than our grandparents did simply by existing. Incidents of brain tumors have also been found to be higher in Western, developed nations. Everything from cell phones to cell towers going up everywhere to household appliances to computers…even cars emit EMF. Many of these technologies were never tested for potential harmful effects. Research has found EMF does have an adverse effect on tissues and cells, and this non-ionizing radiation has been classified as a carcinogen or potential carcinogen.
The top two childhood cancers are leukemia and cancers of the brain and nervous system. Studies have linked both EMF exposure and childhood leukemia (for a few examples, see here,here, here and here), and EMF exposure to childhood brain tumors (see here, here and here). Belgium just banned cell phones specifically designed for children up to age 7 based on this risk.
Armed with this information, recommendations have been suggested for limiting a child’s exposure to pressing cell phones up to their skulls via hands-free devices or even using speakerphone options. WI-FI exposure in the house can be limited by opting to hard wire computers to modems and unplugging computers and modems at night or when not in use.
In a pediatric nursing article “Cell Phones and Children: Follow the Precautionary Road” Suzanne Rosenberg wrote,
“While the government has deemed RF radiation to be safe, there is no current significant research to make this claim.”
Just like the abundance of chemicals in our food, there is a vested interest in keeping a lid on information regarding just how dangerous this continual radiation exposure could be.
Cancer rates have risen to epidemic levels if estimates now show one in two adults will get cancer sometime in their lifetime. With childhood cancer as the number one child killer, what kind of cancer odds will our children face in their future? Forget racing for the cure; we have to start focusing on the cause.