Tag Archives cancer

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued a statement rejecting an Italian study claiming a link between the use of the sweetener sucralose and cancer in mice. The EFSA Journal’s review of a 10­-year study conducted by the Ramazzini Institute criticized the study’s design and methodology, concluding that available data does not support the institute’s claim that sucralose may cause lymphoma or leukemia in mice. Among other criticisms, the panel said the design introduced too many variable factors that could make the data difficult to interpret, and there was no demonstrated dose­-response relationship between exposure to sucralose and incidence of cancer. EFSA also pointed to the study’s failure to establish a cause­-effect relationship in epidemiological studies and said there was no reliable evidence of in vivo or in vitro genotoxicity.   Issue 634

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for "a Label on Processed Meat and Poultry Products Warning the Public that Frequent Consumption May Increase the Risk of Colorectal Cancer." Citing the International Agency for Research on Cancer's finding that smoked, salted and/or cured bacon, hot dogs, ham, sausages and similar products are "carcinogenic to humans," CSPI argues that epidemiological studies backed by "mechanistic evidence" support the alleged link between processed meat and an increased risk of colorectal cancer. The group also points to similar conclusions drawn by the World Cancer Research Fund International, American Institute for Cancer Research, Imperial College London and the American Cancer Society, the latter of which "advises the public to 'minimize consumption of processed meats such as bacon, sausage, luncheon meats, and hot dogs' based on evidence that the risk of colorectal cancer increases by 15…

The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has announced the addition of furfuryl alcohol to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer in accordance with Proposition 65 (Prop. 65) regulations. OEHHA describes furfuryl alcohol as “formed in foods during thermal processing and as a result of the dehydration of sugars,” noting that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has formally identified the chemical as one that causes cancer. In particular, OEHHA cites the 2014 EPA report titled Cancer Assessment Document, Evaluation of the Carcinogenic Potential of Furfural and Furfuryl Alcohol, as satisfying “the formal identification and sufficiency of evidence criteria in the Proposition 65 regulations for furfuryl alcohol.”   Issue 618

Taking issue with language that only loosely links alcohol consumption to increased cancer incidence, an article in the July 2016 issue of Addiction suggests that 5.8 percent of all cancer deaths worldwide are caused by alcohol-attributable cancers of the oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, and female breast. Jennie Connor, “Alcohol consumption as a cause of cancer,” Addiction, July 2016. After reviewing “meta-analyses identified from the Medline database and the archives of the International Agency for Research on Cancer,” a researcher with the University of Otago’s Department of Preventive and Social Medicine reports a “dose–response relationship” between alcohol consumption and cancer, “without evidence of threshold of effect” and regardless of beverage type. “Expressions such as ‘alcohol-related cancer’, ‘alcohol-attributable cancer’ and the effect of alcohol on ‘the risk of cancer’ incorporate an implicit causal association, but are easily interpreted as something less than cancer being caused by drinking,” opines the study…

A consumer has filed a putative class action against The Quaker Oats Co. alleging the company misrepresents its oatmeal products as natural and “eco-friendly” despite containing glyphosate, “a potent herbicide that last year was declared a probable human carcinogen by the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization.” Wheeler v. Quaker Oats Co., No. 16-5776 (N.D. Ill., removed to federal court June 1, 2016). The complaint argues that although “[t]here is nothing unlawful about Quaker Oats’ growing and processing methods,” the company has misled consumers by claiming “that Quaker Oats is something that it is not in order to capitalize on growing consumer demand for healthful, natural products.” The plaintiff asserts that no reasonable consumer would believe that Quaker’s products “contain anything unnatural, or anything other than whole, rolled oats” after seeing Quaker’s packaging and advertising. For allegations of unjust enrichment, breach of warranties and violations of Illinois’ consumer-protection…

A consumer has filed a putative class action against The Quaker Oats Co. alleging the company falsely advertises its oatmeal products as “100% natural” because it contains the herbicide glyphosate. Cooper v. Quaker Oats Co., No. 16-2364 (N.D. Cal., San Francisco Div., filed April 29, 2016). The plaintiff argues the cancer-research arm of the World Health Organization declared glyphosate—”a potent and unnatural biocide” that the company sprays on oats as a drying agent, according to the complaint—to be a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015. The complaint admits the use of glyphosate is legal but asserts that its use in combination with a “100% natural” claim amounts to misrepresentation. For allegations of breach of warranty and violations of California’s consumer-protection statutes, the plaintiff seeks class certification, a compelled corrective advertising campaign, damages, restitution and attorney’s fees.   Issue 603

Several consumer organizations, including the Center for Food Safety, Environmental Working Group and Natural Resources Defense Council, have filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit seeking a writ compelling the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to address the groups’ administrative petition filed in December 2014. Breast Cancer Fund v. FDA, No. 16-70878 (9th Cir., petition filed March 31, 2016). FDA missed a June 2015 deadline to respond to the groups’ petition, which implored FDA to rescind foodcontact approval for perchlorate, “an endocrine-disrupting chemical that interferes with the thyroid gland” used in food packaging. “Perchlorate is primarily used in rocket fuel. There is no reason FDA should allow a chemical like this in or on food products,” Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety, said in a March 31, 2016, press release. “It is irresponsible, illegal, and…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued draft guidance proposing an action level of 100 µg/kg for inorganic arsenic in rice cereals for infants. The agency has also released supporting documentation for its proposal as well as a risk assessment that includes (i) “a quantitative estimate of lung and bladder cancer risk from long-term exposure to these products and the predicted impact of various scenarios to reduce the risk,” and (ii) “a qualitative assessment of certain potential non-cancer risks, in certain susceptible life stages.” “We conclude that the 100 µg/kg action level will help protect the public health and is achievable with the use of current good manufacturing practice, but we especially welcome comments and information bearing on the achievability and public health benefits and risks of 100 µg/kg, as compared with other potential action levels (including no action level),” states FDA, which will consider comments submitted by…

The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has proposed an emergency action to temporarily allow the use of standard point-ofsale warning messages for bisphenol A (BPA) exposures from canned and bottled foods and beverages. Under Proposition 65 (Prop. 65) regulations, consumer products that contain any chemical known to the state to cause reproductive toxicity or cancer must display a “clear and reasonable” warning on “labeling, shelf tags, shelf signs, menus or any combination thereof as long as the warning is prominent and conspicuous.” Starting May 11, 2016, all foods and beverages that result in BPA exposure must display a similar warning “unless the person causing the exposure can show that the exposure is 1,000 times below the no observed effect level for the chemical.” To avoid consumer confusion and give manufacturers time to transition to BPA-free packaging, OEHHA proposes allowing the temporary use of point-of-sale…

A new study has allegedly linked a high dietary glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load—“markers of carbohydrate intake”—to an increased risk of lung cancer in non-smokers. Stephanie C. Melkonian, et al., “Glycemic Index, Glycemic Load, and Lung Cancer Risk in Non-Hispanic Whites,” Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, March 2016. Comparing data from newly diagnosed lung cancer cases to a group of healthy controls, the study authors reportedly found an increased risk for lung cancer among participants with dietary GI in the highest quintile, compared to those in the lowest quintile. In particular, their stratified analyses purportedly noted “a more profound, independent association between dietary GI and lung cancer risk in individuals without traditional lung cancer risk factors.” “Diets high in GI result in higher levels of blood glucose and insulin, which promote glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, and hyperinsulinemia,” explain the researchers. “This is only the second study to suggest an independent…

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