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April 06, 1978 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-04-06

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Page 4-Thursday, April 6, 1978-The Michigan Daily

Can laboratory tests on mice and rats
prove that a substance causes cancer in
How much of a known carcinogen (cancer-
causing substance) can humans be safely ex-
posed to in their work?
- How is the government to regulate more
than 1,500 substances suspected of causing
human cancers, but for which it has no
definitive proof?
Are most cancers environmentally
THESE AND OTHER issues surrounding
the causes and detection of cancer will be the
subject of intense debate in May when the Oc-
cupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) holds protracted hearings on its new
proposal to regulate toxic substances in the
Cancer experts and scientists from over
the world are expected to testify at the
hearings, which could last more than three
The proposed rules would ban or severely
restrict the use of hundreds of chemicals
currently used in industry but suspected of
causing cancer.
"Recognition by cancer specialists that
many, if not most, human cancers are in-
fluenced by environmental factors ... means
that occupational cancers may be preven-
table if the causative agents can be identified
and human exposure to them eliminated or
minimized," OSHA stated in issuing its new
Citing a rapidly rising cancer rate (the

Questioning cancer research

. . ~

American Cancer Society predicts one of four
Americans will develop some form of cancer)
and its inability to move quickly under its
current rules, OSHA is seeking to streamline
the entire regulatory process.
ACCORDING TO Anson Keller, the attor-
ney who drafted the regulations, they
represent "no real change," but merely speed
the process by which OSHA can bring suspec-
ted industrial carcinogens under control.
"They will make for fewer things to litigate,"
he said, "and settle once and for all whether
we may properly extrapolate findings made
on animals and extend them to man.-
Under the new rules, a study that finds
that a substance causes cancer or tumors any
type in animals would presume it also causes
cancer in humans.
Industry views the proposed new
regulations with alarm. Forty industrial fir-
ms including Dow Chemical, DuPont, Union
Carbide, Exxon, Allied Chemical, Monsanto
and Johns-Manville have formed the
American Industrial Health Council to
vigorously oppose the changes.
The council's executive director, Ronald
Lang, believes the new criteria are so broad
that many substances thatbare not car-
cinogenic to humans will be incorrectly
labeled as such.
"Lots of things cause tumors in animals

By Art Goldberg
but not in people," he said. "You can inject
penicillin under the skin of a mouse and
produce tumors, and you can get similar
results with sulfur or fructose (a very sweet
"In one study, government scientists (at
the National Institute for Occupational Safety
and Health) produced tumors in a laboratory'
animal by injecting milk under its skin."
Under the proposed pew rules, he noted,
any tumor, benign or malignant, produced in
one species of test animal would be sufficient
to place a substance on the restricted list.
"LET ME PICK the chemical," he said
"and I'll get any test result you want."
OSHA officials believe differently,
however: Spokesmen cited a 1977 National
Cancer Advisory Board report that states:
"Demonstration that a compound is car-
cinogenic in animals should ... be considered
evidence that it is likely to be carcinogenic in
humans unless there is strong evidence in
humans to the contrary."
Industry spokesman Lang argued that test
animals are often given enormous doses of
suspected carcinogens and that they ingest
them in ways far different than those in which
humans encounter them.

OSHA spokesman, however, cited a scien-
tific opinion that claims high dosage animal
testing is valid and the results can be properly
extrapolated to humans. This point probably
will be hotly contested in May.
There also is substantial disagreement
over how carcinogens and suspected car-
cinogens are to be regulated. The new rules
would permit OSHA to place several hundred
compounds on a restricted list very quickly,
and consequently, the appeal process would
be shortened considerably.
IF A SUBSTITUTE were available for a
restricted chemical, its industrial use would
be virtually halted. If no substitute could be
found, then employee exposure would be set
"as low as feasible.'
Industry representatives have said they
would prefer a case-by-case review of, each
suspected substance; with the final deter-
mination made by a panel of scientists. OSHA
spokesmen contended that .case-by-case
review is far too time consuming and the
delays it involves endanger the lives of
thousands of workers.
The industry council recently filed an 85-
page brief in which it challenged some of the
basic assumptions behind the new rules. The
industry group, for example, maintained that
industrial chemicals only represent a small
fraction of the environmental causes of can-

It argued that "pandemic cigarette
smoking" is a far more influential 'environ-
mental -factor on the cancer rate and
suggested" that if lung cancers are removed
from the national figures, the cancer rate
would actually be shown to tie in decline.
The council further contended that it
would be far less costly for Congress to supply,
OSHA with additional manpower to-continue
its case-by-case review than to impose
sweeping standards on industry.
There is little doubt that industry expects
the new rules, if adopted, to be costly. That
apparently is why it has funded the council
with a million dollar budget.
At least one labor leader, Anthony Maz-
zocchi, vice president of the Oil, Chemical
and Stomic Workers, has denounced the idea
of coldly computing the additional costs in-
volved in safeguarding employee health as,
"calculated murder."
Other union officials, along with represen-
tatives of industry, environmental groups,
and scores of cancer researchers and scien-
tists, can be expected to testify at the May
Their opinions are likely to be contradic-
tory, and intensify the national debate over
the causes and prevention of cancer rather
than resolve many issues.
Art Goldberg, a former editor of
Ramparts and Agence France-Presse,
now writes regularly for the Pacific News

dbr 3itrbt!gn Bail
Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedon
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
VXXXVIII No. 148 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
A ban that makes sense

Cars, coal and $1,000

decision to scrap the neutron
bomb is good news for those of us who
wvant to reduce chances of a future
nuclear holocaust.
a Although officials deny that final
decisions have been made, there is good
1idication that the Carter ad-,
inistration, which initially favored
the neutron weapon, has reversed its
decision to produce the bomb for
distribution to allies in central Europe.
^This decision came despite intense
i tofrom the government of West
to keep -the weapon in the
o Atlantic Treaty Organization's
rsenal. The West German Foreign
Minister was holding meetings with
resident Carter and Secretary of State
Cyrus Vance'when the New York Times
eported the change in policy Tuesday.
The neutron bomb is specifically
Designed for use against Soviet tank at-
facks in central Europe. It is a nuclear
weapon, but it's damage is said to be
restricted to a relatively small area.
The power of the bomb is not so much in
its destructive force as in the ultra-
bigh level of radiation it produces upon
mpact. The neutron bomb is a weapon
made to kill people, slowly and in
Wholesale numbers.
The Carter Administration's
fascination with the weapon has been
appalling, particularly in light of the
statements the President made in his
campaign and in his inaugural address,
yledging to work toward eventual
elimination of the nuclear war cloud

which hangs constantly over our heads.
Surely, Carter didn't think the introduc-
tion of a newer, and even more
gruesome bomb into the world's arms
cache would be a step toward a total
ban on such warfare.
If the President thought in those
terms before, he has reportedly
changed his mind. White House aides
said Tuesday that Carter was, indeed,
afraid the neutron bomb would escalate
the chances for nuclear confrontation,
not lessen them.
The simple fact is that while other
nuclear weapons are considered by
leaders of most countries to be too
gruesome to use for anything other than
strategic threats, the neutron bomb is
usable; its effects are limited and
predictable, however horrifying. That
the weapon would eventually be used in
one situation or another is almost
beyond denial.
As the Carter Administration backs
off of the neutron bomb, defense hawks
will begin screaming that the country's
guard is down. They will do so with a
ferocity that will threaten more
rational viewpoints on Capital Hill.
Despite this pressure, the Congress
and Carter must continue to move away
from the mad notion that nuclear
weapons, by their very presence, will
stave off nuclear war.
The President once again has the
opportunity to work toward his own
promise of eventual elimination of the
nuclear monster, and he should not
hesitate to do so.

By Gerry Wolke
Recently, while driving along,'I
spied a commotion in an
automobile dealership's
showroom. Ah, perhaps
something newsworthy is going
on, I guessed. Stopping the car, I
spied an old acquaintance in the
showroom arguing with a man in
a striped suit with a carnation on
his lapel. It was 'Digger' Pitts, an
old coal miner and I assumed the
other man was the manager. It
turned out I was right.
"What's going on, Digger?" I
"OH, THIS shark is trying to
cheat me. I came in here, made a
deal for this car and when I went
to sign the papers he had upped
the price by another $2000!" he
"Well, why didn't you just go
somewhere else?" It seemed the
logical question.
"God knows I tried to do that.
When I told him off and got Up to
g he and his friends blocked the
door and told me I couldn't leave
until I signed. Naturally, I called
the police and do you know what
they said? They said it was
illegal! Can you believe it? They
said I had to stay and bargain
with them and that I couldn't
cross their picket line to get out of,
here . .. a new law or
"Is that right, Mr. . . . ?" I was
'Carlyle. And damn right it
is." he growled. "These
customers are all
alike. . . greedy. They never
want to pay a fair price for a car.
In these times of falling auto
sales I couldn't stay in business
selling cars at the price he wan-
ted to pay. So with the help of our
connections in Washington we got
a law passed. Maybe you've
heard of it, the 'National Sales
Relations Act.' Best boost
business ever got."
"WELL, MR. Carlyle," I
began, "Surely you realize thai
there is no 'fair price'. There is
only a market price. The concep
of fairness is meaningless
"Why don't you tell Mr. Pitt
that. It's union people like him
that have driven us nearly out o
business by jacking the cost o
building a car up so high, all i
the name of a fair price for labor
We're just doing the same thin
as the unions. We're just protec
ting ourselves."
"Now look here, Carlyle,'
Digger blurted. "We had to d(
that. We would have starved o0
been buried alive in the mines i
we had to rely on the generosit
of management like you, yo
greedy jack ass!"
"Well wait a minute." I inter
jected, trying to keep order
"First of all theconcept of greed

© Tk,


is also meaningless. It just means
that party 'A' wants more than
party 'B' thinks he ought to have.
Anyway, Digger, your statement
isn't quite true. It isn't unions
that gave you enough money to
buy a car and live decently.
Unions are only about 20 percent
of the labor force and everybody
else does all right, too. In fact.
historians have shown that the
standard of living was higher in
America than in Europe even
when they were far more
unionized. Even today our stan-
dard of living is much higher than
in the 'people's paradises' that
exist to advance the worker.
Simply put, it is production and
competition for labor among em-
ployers that raise wages and
standards of living among
"Well, that hardly applies
today does it, with so many
people out of work", he returned,
"that's just management
propaganda. I guess you're one of
them." He eyed me pitifully.
"NO, DIGGER," I answered,
"I'm just interested in justice.
Besides, you ought to realize that
your unions, with the necessary
aid of law, are responsible for
much of the unemployment."
"When you bid up wages past
their market value you just make
less room for others to be hired,
in fact others might have to be
fired or the whole company might
have to go out of business. That's
hapened a lot. Just look at the
newspaper industry. Not only do
you discriminate against other
workers by driving them into the
nonunion market to lower the
wages there - which is
hypocritical for people who
profess to believe in equality -
but your unions have always
discriminated against

"Now' wait just a minute",
Digger yelled. It isn't true that
we discriminate." He paused a
moment then chuckled,
"Everybody that comes out of
those coal mines is black." Then,
seriously, he went on, "What you
said is a lie - just economic
theories. You can't prove
anything. I know the bitter
struggle we had to go through to
better the lot of all workingmen."
"If that's true, Digger, then
why did Barbara Wooten, a
leading member of the British
Labour Party for many years,
say, 'The business of a union'is to
be antisocial; the members
would have a just grievance if
their officials and committees
ceased to put sectional interests
"Yeah, that's right%" Carlyle
sprang in. "Your union just got
through mugging the whole coun-
try, giving them a taste of your
dirty tactics!"
"You should talk, Carlyle"
Digger returned. "When an auto
rental company came by with a
car for me, your salesmen over-
turned and smashed it while the
police did nothing."
"LOOK", I said, "I can see that
I'm not about to change either of
your long-cherished myths.
You'll just keep on doing what
you're doing, wrecking the
whole country for a pay boost
that will just be wiped out by in-
flation when the government
tries to spread the harm by prin-
ting more money. It's just too bad
it will come out of widow's pen-
signs - people like that."
"You said it," agreed Carlyle.
"Even when the President in-
voked Taft-Hartley you
disobeyed the law and stayed off
the job.".
"That's true, Carlyle," an-

swered Digger, "but nobody, in
America should be. ordered to
work = that's slave -labor. I
wouldn't do it.
"True enough, Digger." I went
on, "But maybe the coal
operators shouldn't have obeyed
equally unjust laws that they
didn't like, either, and hired some
of the unemployed to work the
mines at wages they would have
accepted. The only thing is it is a
lot easier to jail a few company
presidents than several thousand
miners. Sometimes the law
works against the rich."
Just - then a dispatch was
received addressed to both com-
batants. It was from the
President. It said he didn't want
really ,to interfere, since he
believed in the free enterprise
system, but f they didn't come to
an agreement soon he would have
to do as he did in the coal strike
and have the IRS as well as a
whole battalion of regulatory
agencies take a close look at the
both of them. Need he say more?
As I left they were both arguing
and calling each other names. I
pondered the system of gover-
nment-franchised coercion I had
just seen at work, and wondered
how many people could support
I heard later that the President
had threatened a takeover of the
auto dealership and that, even-
tually, a federal arbitrator made
Carlyle and Digger settle for a
$1,000 price boost on the car.
Free enterprise, he called it.
Sounds like a Republican.
Gerry Wolke iplo iS ,(' 1f un1
Arbor's leading promoters of
libertarian thought. anEl is a
frejII ent contributor to ihe
D~aily's Ishiiorial Page.

Trash the
To The Daily: prefabricated rol
The Ann Arbor Hash Bash was boppers, jaded
a trash bash. The crowds were tators, the pigs,
listless: there was boredom in- N.O.R.M.L., and;
scribed on every face. Like the hippies keeping th
Art Fair, the Hash Bash has been up-to-date. Even t

s - as teeny- the Ha
student spec- of prot
normals from ponent
superannuated ble of
heir credentials Hash B
he arrests were has cor

Hash Bash

sh Bash became a parody
est and one more com-
of the totalitarian ensem-
existing institutions. The
ash is an idea whose time
me ... and gone. Who wants

Although I've never started a
lawsuit, I've sought the advtce
and services of legal aid attor-
neys on several occasions. Their
help has always been excellentin
solving what were 'critical

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