[ RadSafe ] Re: Radiation Hormesis

Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Fri Dec 28 16:43:16 CST 2007

Dec. 28

         My purpose was to buttress the editorial writer's point, to wit 
that merely because a substance causes cancer in a laboratory animal does 
not mean it will cause cancer in humans.  I can remember Efron giving an 
example of a substance being accused of causing a type of cancer in a 
laboratory animal and then being banned.  Eventually it was discovered that 
the animal being tested had a pre-disposition to cancers (or at least 
tumors) of the type which caused the substance to be banned.  I am  certain 
that Efron gave more than one such example, although I can only remember 
this one.  As I implied, it's an iffy business to extrapolate from 
carcinogenicity in animals to carcinogenicity in humans

         You are correct, John, that there are problems with using small 
animal models, and 'we' all know that.  The problem is that regulatory 
science doesn't care about these niceties.  Regulators justify their jobs 
by (ostensibly) protecting people from allegedly dangerous products.  If 
there are no products to regulate, what does that mean for the regulators' 
jobs?  Some of this isn't about jobs either --- it's about power:  I have 
the power to tell someone what to do and by _______ I'm going to tell him 
what to do whether he likes it or not, and not only that I'll *make* him do 
it.  So, yes, you are correct it's about politics.  One part of politics is 
forcing people to do things whether they want to or not.

Steven Dapra

At 08:42 AM 12/28/07 -0800, John Jacobus wrote:
>If one does not believe there are problems with using small animal models 
>(mice and rats) for chemical testing of effects in humans, should consider 
>that approximately 80% of the drug responses seen in such animals do not 
>lead to effective results in humans.
>But the issue is not effects in one species over another.  It has to do 
>with safety in humans.  Only about 15% of a regulator ruling is based on 
>the science.  The rest is the politics.
>Steven Dapra <sjd at swcp.com> wrote:
>Dec. 27
>Yes, don't we all love those eminent scientists. Okay, enough on
>that front.
>". . . proof that a substance, which had been recognized as
>carcinogenic in animals, actually causes cancer in man would require in
>most cases extemely complex and lengthy epidemiologic studies. In many
>cases, it may be impossible to obtain such proof because of the complexity
>of controls that would be needed for a satisfactory
>demonstration. Therefore, the only prudent course of action at the present
>state of our knowlege is to assume that chemicals which are carcinogenic in
>animals could also be so in man, although the direct demonstration in man
>is lacking."
>The citation is: Umberto Saffiotti, "The Laboratory Approach to
>the Identification of Environmental Carcinogens," in Proceedings of the
>Ninth Canadian Cancer Research Conference 1971, edited by P. G. Scholefield
>(University of Toronto Press, 1972), pp. 23-26; cited in Federal Register
>42:192 (October 4, 1977): 54152. I am quoting from "The Apocalyptics
>Cancer and the Big Lie," by Edith Efron (Simon and Schuster, 1984). Efron
>quotes Saffiotti on p. 87.
>Sure, I'll grant you that was 1971 --- 36 years ago and a lot has
>changed since then. Or has it? Are we any closer to knowing *for certain*
>whether nor not it is possible to extrapolate from carcinogenicity in
>animals to carcinogenicity in humans?
>To further complicate matters, according to Efron, cats, dogs,
>rats, mice, and hamsters get cancer from 2-acetylaminofluorene; but guinea
>pigs, lemmings, and the cotton rat do not. And it goes on and on. See pp.
>198-190 of Efron for more examples of selective carcinogenicity. She gives
>citations for everything, citing to the scientific literature, or to
>government reports on carcinogenicity.
>Steven Dapra
>At 09:18 PM 12/27/07 -0500, BLHamrick at aol.com wrote:
> >
> >And, I'm sure it comes as no surprise that anti-everythings also argue just
> >the opposite (of what Floyd noted below) about animal studies when it suits
> >them.
> >
> >Just a couple of weeks ago (December 18, 2007), there was a very sensible
> >editorial in the LA Times about the ongoing uproar regarding phthalates in
> >plastics ("Stop Scaring Us"). The author was roundly attacked in
> >three letters
> >(published December 23, 2007). (One from the eminent scientist Senator
> >Diane
> >Feinstein - said with tongue firmly in cheek). And, of course, one of the
> >criticisms was that the columnist had dared to suggest that because
> >phthalates
> >cause cancer in rats, it doesn't necessarily mean it will cause it in 
> humans.
> >
> >The letter to the editor stated, "[The columnist] repeats the old saw that
> >rats have different metabolism than people. So he'd rather test people?
> >Animal
> >testing to predict risks posed to humans by toxic substances is a
> >well-established principle that provides the basis for the nation's
> >fundamental cancer
> >policy and a host of laws seeking to protect us against this deadly disease.
> >If a chemical can induce tumors in mice, we are not immune."
> >
> >The problem I have with the anti-everythings (aside from the cherry-picking)
> >is they seem to be quite willing to make any argument, even to the point
> >where they may make two completely inconsistent arguments depending on
> >the day
> >of the week (or the audience), to support their agenda.
> >
> >Barbara L. Hamrick
> >
> >In a message dated 12/27/2007 11:10:49 AM Pacific Standard Time,
> >Floyd.Flanigan at nmcco.com writes:
> >
> >I am a firm supporter of Hormesis but with all of the other
> >environmental influences which can mask most true expressions of the
> >Hormetic Effect, I fear it will be a very long time before we see such a
> >study. I suppose it could be conducted on lab animals, but no matter
> >what evidence was produced, the nay-sayers would find their way back to
> >the fact that humans have a different physiology than the test subjects.

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