Cancer and the Vegetarian Diet
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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.
Cancer and the Vegetarian Diet
by William Harris, M.D.
December 21, 1999
Evidence from a broad scientific literature suggests:
A. Rates for at least six common types of cancer, country by country, correlate with the consumption of animal source food.
B. There is a modest negative correlation with these cancers and plant source food consumption.
C. A variety of phytochemicals present in plant foods have been demonstrated to be protective against the DNA damage that leads to cancer.
D. The veg*n diet, extolled by its advocates for at least 150 years as a cancer preventive strategy, is the logical end point of the dietary recommendations, now made by scientific organizations, to reduce animal food consumption.
E. A recent clinical review (49) concluded: "Up to 80% of bowel and breast cancer may be preventable by dietary change... Diet contributes to varying extent to the risk of many other cancers, including cancers of the lung, prostate, stomach, oesophagus, and pancreas... Generally, fruit, vegetables, and fibre have a protective effect, whereas red and processed meat increase the risk of developing cancer."
There are no logical arguments for the continued use of animal source food in the human diet. However, logic is not the key factor here. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has shielded the meat and dairy industries from normal market forces since at least the beginning of the Commodities Credit Corporation (CCC) in 1933 (50), by giving direct price supports to dairy production, and de facto supports to the meat industry in the form of feed grain price supports (51, 52).. In 1998 USDA Secretary Dan Glickman bought up at least $250 million worth of beef, chicken, dairy, eggs, fish, lamb, and pork that could not be sold on an already flooded market. These goods will be dumped into public feeding troughs such as the National School Lunch Program (53).
This is contrary to advice given by the National Cancer Institute, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and the USDA itself, to consume daily at least five servings of fruit and vegetables. Only a third of the U.S. public is aware of the "5-A-Day" recommendation (54).
Vegetable and fruit growers have for the most part been excluded from support programs..."All crops may be harvested on flex acreage except...fruits and vegetables..." (55), and apparently don't want government assistance or large ad campaigns(56) to market their products. Evidence indicates that animal industries have exerted enormous pressure on the government for continuation of their supports (57). These industries then plow their profit margins into massive ad campaigns, nutritional "education", and political action to insure that their benefits will continue.
A glance at IRS Corporate Income Tax Form 1120 and most state corporate tax forms shows also that advertising is a tax deductible business expense. There is little doubt that the animal food interests are taking full advantage of this as they suborn the media, the nutritional establishment, and the government to push their wares on a naive public.
Until the government stops using public tax moneys to bail out the animal food interests and stops giving tax breaks for their massive advertising programs that virtually freeze vegetarian information out of the public consciousness, there is not much chance that we will see a reduction in cancer rates.
William Harris, M.D.
Kaiser-Permanente Vegan Lifestyle Clinic (VLC)
1765 Ala Moana Blvd. #1880
Honolulu, HI 96815
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