A Not-So-Subtle Scientific Bias Against Natural Health Ideas

  • Posted on: 26 July 2007
  • By: mokshalom

I recently posted a blog entry on the potential for bras to cause breast cancer. The idea is that bras can constrict the natural flow of lymph that collects wastes for removal from the body. The concept is not proven, but nor is it disproven.

So I was absolutely shocked to see a news article today "debunking" cancer "myths." Actually, no "myths" were disproven whatsoever...what they did for this "study" was simply survey people to see what they believed. And apparently, those of us who think it's possible that bras could cause breast cancer - or harsh chemicals in cosmetics might cause cancer too - are just undereducated idiots.

What's even more funny is that they actually acknowledge that some of these myths aren't fully disproven...just "unlikely."

The "myths" surrounding the potential dangers of cosmetic ingredients, mammograms, and bras were mixed up with the more obvious inaccurate statements such as "You cannot get skin cancer from using a tanning booth."

These "myths" were then followed up by dire statements that people who worry about "unwarranted" risk factors could then screw up and put themselves more at risk for cancer in other ways. How? You mean, someone who stops using chemical-laden shampoo is going to run out and start smoking 10 packs of cigarettes a day to compensate? Give me a break!

The unspoken contempt for the natural health movement was palpable.

Fortunately, the readers did not agree, and rated the story with a low 2 1/2 stars. It's heartening to see that the majority of readers did not recommend this biased and inaccurate story, but I'm still disheartened to see the mainstream cancer community so blithely disregarding potential cancer dangers. Sure, maybe it initially seems like a wacky idea that bras could cause cancer, but until it's been fully studied, there is absolutely no reason to dismiss it off-hand.

Cosmetics and Cancer
That potential cosmetic dangers were totally dismissed surprised me more. You can't possibly tell me that it's good for your skin to be slathering self-tanner all over it on a regular basis. We won't know for decades what the fall-out on that will be.

(And yes, I have used self-tanner, and yes, I've considered that it might actually be more dangerous than moderate amounts of sunlight in the long run.)

Recently, I felt guided to switch from my usual facial regimen, Olay, to an organic company, Avalon Organics. I was actually pretty happy with the Olay products. I'm not a natural health nazi. But I just felt guided to do it and I can't be happier with my new skin care products.

Avalon Organics talks about the potential dangers of parabens on their website. They are removing parabens from all their products as a cautionary measure. Are they being morons for doing this? Well, according to that aforementioned cancer "study" they are. But I suspect that somehow, some of those mainstream cancer people are much too interested in maintaining a status quo. If it got out that a common cosmetic and shampoo ingredient really caused cancer, can you imagine the hell to pay?

Regardless, isn't it better to be safe than sorry?

So be careful what is reported in the mainstream media. It is not always the full truth.