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June 13, 1978 - Image 9

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-06-13

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, June 13, 1978-Page 9
Panel looks at cancer-diet link

About half the cases of cancer are
nutrition-related, but government. can-
cer research so far has dealt with
treatment and the search for cures in-
stead of studying dietary consequences,
Sen. George McGovern (D-S.D.), said
By 1980 the nation will have spent $10
billion on cancer research, but "an
adult's overall chances today of being
cured of cancer are not significantly
better than they were back in 1940,"
McGovern said.
AS HE OPENED hearings on cancer
and diet, McGovern charged the
National Cancer Institute (NCI),
"knowing that the majority of cancers
are preventable, and that many are
diet-related," emphasizes treatment
and searches for cures rather than
FDA acts
to ban'
sleep id
F a
WASHINGTON (AP) - The active
ingredient in virtually all non-
prescription nighttime sleep aids may
cause cancer in animals, the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) said
yesterday as it took the first step to ban
the substance.
The FDA said a preliminary study
indicated the chemical, metapyrilene,
may be the cause of tumors in test
animals, and it asked the National Can-
cer Institute to expedite further testing
of the widely used antihistamine.
IN THE MEANTIME, the agency
said, it would permit use of another
similar chemical, pyrilamine, although
none of the ingredients now used in
over-the-counter sleeping pills "the
minimum legal requirements for safety
and effectiveness."
Pyrilamine, a weaker drug, is not
now suspected of causing cancer. By
allowing its use, the FDA will permit
makers of over-the-counter sleeping
aids to keep their products on the
market while further tests are conduc-
The FDA said it will consider written
objections and requests for hearings
before taking any final action, which
means the ban is at least a year away
and quite possibly more.
the active ingredient in Sominex, Nytol,
Excedrin PM, Compoz and Sleep-Eze.
As part of the proposed new standard
for sleep aids and stimulant drugs; the
agency also said itwould no longer
permit marketing of non-prescription
daytime sedatives.
(Medievl ad Renaissance Collegium)
306 Tyler East Quad

-The hearings by the Senate Nutrition
Subcommittee are designed to look at
cancer research spending since 1971
when a major effort was launched to
find a cure.
McGovern noted that since the 1971
act, which called for a cancer cure by
1976, "we have determined that 80 to 90
per cent of cancers are apparently en-
vironmentally related. More striking is
the discovery that 40 per cent of the
cancers in men and 60 per cent in
women are nutrition-related."
DR. THEODORE Cooper, dean of
Cornell University Medical College and
assistant secretary of Health,
Education and Welfare (HEW) in the
Ford administration, told the commit-
tee reviews of current cancer research
show most of it is good and valid.
Nonetheless, Cooper said cancer
research "now faces a crisis of
"People are asking why, after seven
years of magnificent efforts, have we
not conquered those fearful diseases
that we call cancer. Why have we spent
such a small percentage of resources on
nutritional and environmental ac-
tivities? Why so little on prevention?"
he asked.
HE CALLED on Congress to ap-
propriate an additional $200 million for
the Agriculture Department and HEW
to oversee human nutrition research to
signal a shift in emphasis and en-
courage young researchers to go into
the field.
(Please Print)
1. D. No.

When the "war on cancer" was
declared in 1970, scientists were con-
fident that a massive federal effort
could conquer cancer. They said what
was needed was an effort comparable
to that of the space program.
When former President Richard
Nixon signed the legislation Dec. 23,
1971, he called it "a Christmas gift to
the American people."
THE WITNESSES said yesterday
that the issue then was whether to set
up a greatly expanded cancer program,
not on where the money should be spent
within cancer research.
"None of the major scientific or
clinical areas of cancer research were
considered in any detail in the
legislative debate," testified Richard
Rettig, senior social scientist for the
Rand Corporation and author of a book
on enactment of the National Cancer
Act of 1971.
Peggy Fry, a University of Texas
nutritionist, said the National Cancer
Institute, which is part of the National
Institute of Health (NIH), has funded
much research into possible cancer
cures with relatively little money for
prevention through good nutrition and
other ways.
"I FEEL strongly that nutrition
research is consciously~ ignored by
NCI," she said.
NCI Director Arthur Upton is
scheduled to testify to the subcommitte
Dr. George Blackburn of Harvard

Medical School, a leading cancer
researcher, said there is a traditional
emphasis on treating diseases rather
than preventing them. He noted that in
1976 only 19 of the country's 114 medical
schools required courses in nutrition.
at NIH, where allocation of research
dollars occurs, are dominated by
graduates of these medical schools;
that is, physicians who have little if any
formal training in nutrition and, conse-
quently, small appreciation for recent
advances in clinical nutrition," Black-
burn said.
Subcommittee chairman McGovern
said he was distressed at "the per-
sistence of putting all our marbles in
the 'cure' basket when the only viable
long-term solution is the prevention of
cancer and our other killer diseases."
Nutritionists have long urged
Americans to prevent diseases, in-
cluding cancer, by eating fewer fatty
foods, less sugar and less salt. They
have urged greater consumption of
fruits and vegetables, lean meats and
the substitution of skim milk for whole
However, nutritionists also have said
that more research is needed into the
relationship between diet and health.
The largest opencut tin mine in the
world, according to National Geo-
graphic, is on the outskirts of Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia. Its pit is more
than 500 feet deep and half a mile

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