Shopper Beware: Cancer Risks from Consumer Products - Part Three - Dairy and Other Foods
Carcinogens in Dairy Products
Pesticides: Many carcinogenic pesticides - including BHC, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, heptachlor, HCB, and lindane - accumulate in the most fatty dairy products (e.g. butter, ice cream, whole milk and high fat cheeses).
Animal Drugs: Antibiotic residues may be found in dairy products, yet the drugs of major concern are the Sulfa drugs in dairy cows. Sulfamethazine is carcinogenic and its residues are often found in milk.
Other drugs which have been found in milk are chloramphenicol which can cause the often fatal blood disease aplastic anemia.
Dioxin: is a by product of the process used to bleach paper products at pulp and paper mills and has passed from the cartons to the milk. Dioxin's carcinogenicity is up to 500,000 times more potent than that of DDT.
rBGH (Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone): This poses harsh effects upon the animals and causes serious health risks to the consumers:
* Increased levels of cell-stimulating insulin-like Growth Factor - 1 (IGF-1), apparently identical to those in humans have been reported in rBGH milk. These could induce premature growth in children and possibly promote colon cancer and breast cancer in women.
* Increased bacterial infections in rBGH cows require treatment with antibiotics that will pass into the milk. This is likely to result in antibiotic-resistant infections in the general population. Also, the stress effects of rBGH in cows could surpress immunity and activate latent viruses, such as bovine leukemia and bovine immunodeficiency viruses, which are related to cancer and the AIDS complex and may be infectious to humans.
* Steroids and adrenaline-type stressor chemicals induced in cows by these hormones are likely to contaminate milk and may be harmful, particularly to babies and young children.
* As previously mentioned the fat and milk of cows is already contaminated with a wide range of carcinogenic contaminants, including dioxins and pesticides. rBGH reduces body fat and is likely to mobilise these carcinogens into the milk, with cancer risks to consumers.
Radiation: Milk is a prime route by which consumers are exposed to radioactive contaminants released by nuclear plants. Milk is especially dangerous because it is quickly marketed, and short-lived radioactive isotopes are still present when it is consumed. Milk is associated with increased risk for breast cancer, and the combination of pesticides and radiation have been proposed as one possible explanations. If your dairy is near a nuclear plant, don't use their products.
Carcinogens in Processed, Preserved Foods.
Additives: Avoid products with coal tar food colours, potassium bromate and BHA.
Preserved Foods: Avoid cured meats which contain nitrite preservatives.
Pesticides: In general, carcinogenic pesticides concentrate in processed foods. Brands using organic ingredients are preferable, so are nonfat and low-fat brands.
Carcinogens in Desserts and Snacks
Pesticides: Milk chocolate is highly contaminated with residues of BHC and lindane. Peanut butter is highly contaminated with carcinogenic pesticides, such as DDT, dieldrin and toxaphene. Peanuts can also be contaminated with the fungus aflatoxin which is carcinogenic.
Pumpkin pie is contaminated with dieldrin. Choose pumpkin pie or products made with organically grown pumpkins.
Carcinogens in Vegetable Oil.
Pesticides: Soybean oil is contaminated with dieldrin. Safflower oil is contaminated with lindane.
Rancidity: Oils which are improperly stored can become oxidised, leading to the formation of oxygen- free radicals that are associated with carcinogenic processes.
Carcinogens in Sweetners
Aspartame, found in many brands such as Nutrasweet, Equal and many deserts, diet foods and soft drinks. The main concern with regards to the ingestion of Aspartame's in large amounts, is that it may contribute to the development of brain tumours.
Cyclamates and Saccharin are carcinogenic.
Carcinogens in Baby Food
The embryo, fetus, infant and young child are more sensitive and susceptible to carcinogenic pesticide residues than the adult for the following reasons;
1) their smaller size, pound for pound, babies receive a greater dose.
2) the baby's liver often lacks certain enzymes required for breaking down pesticides.
3) babies' and toddler's immune systems are not as strong as those of adults.
4) the baby's cells undergo rapid growth and may be more susceptible to carcinogens than cells that are more static. In spite of these concerns the EPA's tolerance setting procedures have always been calculated for adults.
A report had noted that 'millions of children in the United States receive up to 35 percent of their entire lifetime dose of some carcinogenic pesticides by age 5.... By the average child's first birthday, the combined cancer risk from just eight pesticides on 20 food exceeds the EPA's estimated lifetime level of acceptable risk of one-in-one million additional cancers throughout the U.S. population" These exposures can result in a high incidence of childhood and subsequent adult cancers.
If you are aware of any health problem which may compromise your general health, it is important to seek treatment. A Health and Wellness Counselor may help you, to bring you back in balance and to good health through, detoxing, healthy eating and living, create a proper diet suited for your condition, advise natural remedies, herbs, wholefood supplements and organic cosmetics.
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Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !