Thursday 14 November 2013

We told you this would happen (episode 500)

Another one for the "I told you so" file...

The evidence that smoking causes lung cancer is definitive. It took a few decades, but cigarette packs now carry prominent health warnings to alert us to this risk. 

Actually, it took one and a half decades and—this being Australia—the packs are now nothing but health warnings. Still, cigarettes are a "unique product" right? 


When it comes to dietary patterns, convincing evidence collated by the World Cancer Research Fund also shows that regular consumption of some foods and drinks increases the risk for specific cancers.

It’s time to begin making consumers aware of the cancer risk associated with regular consumption of particular foods and drinks, through front-of-pack warning labels.

But cigarettes are the only legal product that kills "when used as intended by the manufacturer", right?


While the official recommendation is to limit alcoholic drinks to no more than two a day for men and one a day for women, when it comes to breast cancer risk there is no safe level of intake.

Fortunately I don't have breasts. No nannying for me, right?

For processed meat, there appears to be no completely safe level of intake

Aw, shucks. What if I don't eat meat?

The evidence indicates that salty and salt-preserved foods are probable causes of stomach cancer.

Doggonnit! Looks like it's a teetotal, salt-free, vegan life for me. Bring on the warnings. 

Then comes the graphic warnings, then the display bans, then the plain packaging...

...and on... and on... and on...

Eric Crampton has more to say about this, including a good suggestion for what labels should be put on alcohol.


Steve Kelly said...

Warning: You're going to die no matter what you do. So do it now.

Ivan D said...

"Convincing evidence" and the World Cancer Research Fund in the same sentence is too much to bear.

A panel of nutritionists torturing data to claim that nutrition is the major cause of cancer is hardly surprising. However because the obvious vested interests of these quasi religious zealots is seen as "not commercial" by a well known broadcaster, their pseudo-scientific garbage is frequently fed to the public as credible and educational.

I note that the author of the piece you link to is a "Professor of Nutrition" which says it all really.