[ RadSafe ] Re: Radiation Hormesis

Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Fri Dec 28 21:52:55 CST 2007

Dec. 28

         Does it have to be all or nothing?  All but anarchists will 
acknowledge the need for some government.  The debate should be about the 
amount we need.  My guess is that we could easily get by with a lot less 
than we have now.  It doesn't have to be Federal either.  State governments 
should be regulating most of this stuff, not the Feds.

         I have read "The Jungle," thank you, and although it may have some 
basis in fact, it is a work of fiction.  "The Jungle" initially appeared in 
serial form in a socialist journal.  Upton Sinclair, its author was a 
socialist, and was a founder of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society, 
later known as the League for Industrial Democracy.  Until you mentioned 
it, I had not heard of "The Bitter Cry of [the] Children."  According to 
the Univ. of NM's online library catalog, it is about child welfare and 
child labor, the author is John Spargo, and the title takes the definite 
article.  According to Wikipedia (yes, I know about Wikipedia's 
shortcomings) Spargo was a British socialist; and, like Sinclair, Spargo 
was a muckraker.  He came to the United States in 1901, became a leader in 
the Socialist Party of America, and wrote an early English-language 
biography of Karl Marx.  According to Wikipedia he became "wealthy" off his 
books.  That's a good one --- a wealthy Socialist.  And so it goes.  Oddly 
enough, Spargo opposed the New Deal.  Why are you using 100 year old books 
by Socialist muckrakers to make points about what is happening today in the 
US of A?

         By looking on Amazon.com, I found that Markku Ruotsila, an Adjunct 
Professor of American and British History at the University of Tampere, 
Finland, has written a biography of Spargo (John Spargo and American 
Socialism).  According to a brief description of the book on Amazon, Spargo 
was "a key popularizer of evolutionary socialism in the Socialist Party of 
America in the early twentieth century."  Also, says the description, he 
was "one of the earliest forerunners of neoconservatism."  (That's what it 

         As I pointed out in another posting in this thread, appealing a 
regulatory decision is expensive and exhausting.  Furthermore your polemic 
has nothing to do with whether or not a substance that causes cancer in 
animals will also cause cancer in humans.

Steven Dapra

At 05:55 PM 12/28/07 -0800, John Jacobus wrote:
>Yes, there are certainly problems with over-regulation.  Consider how much 
>better it would be if there were no drug regulations, or drinking water 
>standards, or regulations on aircraft safety, etc.  Think of all those 
>jackass regulators who would have nothing to do, and how much better a 
>society we would be. If you wanted to dump oil into the ground, go for 
>it.  You don't have to worry about who drinks it.  What would be great is 
>to eliminate things like fire codes and child labor laws.  We could 
>certainly eliminate labor costs of manufacturing
>What regulations would you like to eliminate?  Of couse, what laws would 
>your eliminate?  Politics is more than power.  It is also how society 
>develops laws and regulations.  It is how we establish national policy and 
>function.  But enough about what I think.  You may want to see if they 
>have a copy of "The Jungle" in your library.  Or maybe "The Bitter Cry of 
>As Bob Cherry pointed out, if you feel a regulatory decision is unjust, 
>you have the means to appeal it.
>Steven Dapra <sjd at swcp.com> wrote:

>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
>> >DianeFeinstein - said with tongue firmly in cheek). And, of course, one 
>> of the
>> >criticisms was that the columnist had dared to suggest that because
>> >phthalatescause 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?
>> >Animaltesting 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 dayof the week (or the audience), to support their agenda.
>> >
>> >Barbara L. Hamrick

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