Page 4-Tuesday, July 25, 1978-The Michigan Daily
Eighty-eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, M. 48109
Vol. XXXVII, No. 50-S News Phone: 764-0552
Tuesday, July 25, 1978
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
A2 fast, high, strong
S INCE THE MAYORS of Los Angeles,
Detroit, and Windsor are involved in well-
publicized debates over possible bids for the 1984
Olympic Games, we feel compelled to present
the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
with another option. Why not Ann Arbor?
We became gradually convinced last week
while watching the campus area washed over by
wave upon wave- of hot Art Fair participants
that, if only one section of the city should support
that much random activity, the organized frenzy
of the Games would be a holiday.
Then we recalled the legions of Ann Arbor's
finest keeping the peace during the spring Hash
Bash and the security which reigned during
Gerald Ford's visits and realized that local law
enforcement officials could answer any
questions of safety which past international
gatherings have raised.
Visitors from Paris could be housed in South
Quad and sample the "ground round," Japanese
tourists might ride the city's new double decker
buses while Italian motorists enjoy testing their
equiment on the chewed-up streets.
Picture kayaking on the Huron River, archery
in the Arb, waterpolo in Bell Pool or boxing, not
in any smoke-filled arena, but on the sun-soaked
Diag. The city could add a new dimension to the
long jump contest and solve its excess sludge
problem at the same time by holding the run-
and-jump event out at the sewage treatment
plant before appreciative crowds.
And just as Detroit has it s Windsor and Dallas
its Fort Worth, Ann Arbor can call on the
resources of Ypsilanti just in case Mayor
)3elcher and President Fleming need some extra
space or support. Perhaps the marathon could be
run in to downtown Ypsilanti and back to give the
competitors some sample American Midwest to
watch as they pull through the long miles.
Considering the virtues of Ann Arbor it's sur-
prising to us that the city hasn't yet been tapped
as an Olympic site. But 1984 isn't too far away to
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l A SORTER
Cancer issue could
take fore in politics
By Al Goodman
Many experts say a cancer epidemic is here -
and that it could become an explosive political issue
in the coming years.
Even now, the potential "cancer constituency" is
vast: The disease strikes one in every four
Americans and kills almost 400,000 annually. Its
political futire, however, lies with the belief now
held in the scientific community that up to 90 per
cent of human cancer is environmentally caused by
man and is not, as was formerly thought, the result
of a virus that could be isolated and cured.
"The public may feel that
everything causes cancer.
Therefore, people take the at-
titude of 'screw it. I'll live a
DESPITE THESE facts, however, cancer
remains a cloudy, back-burner issue.
Citing one key reason, Dr. Samual Epstein of the
University of Illinois' School of Public Health, said
the public hasn't realized that "the problems of
cancer are political and economic, not scientific."
Epstein, an authority on cancer resulting from
chemical pollution, stressed, "We have plenty of in-
formation on the scientific problems. We need to see
it reflected in decision-making."
He points out that the true costs of cancer have not
yet come before public scrutiny. For 1975 alone, the
government calculated the real costs of cancer, in-
cluding medical treatment and loss of man-hours
and earnings, at a whopping $18 billion. Epstein
claimed the money needed to regulate cancer would
be far less, even with strict guidelines for car-
cinogens (cancer-causing substances) and
adequate prior testing of chemicals before they
reach the market.
THE PROBLEM is compounded, said University
of California biochemist Joyce McCann, because
carcinogens have been turning up like wildfire in
nearly everything in America. "The carcinogen of
the week isnt fiction," said McCann, who is curren-
tly researching cancer possibilities from lipstick
dyes. "they all add up."
"But the public may feel that everything causes
cancer,' according to Bob Harris of the Environ-
mental Defense Fund (EDF). "Therefore, people
take the attitude of 'screw-it. I'll live a carefree
Their attitudes of confusion or helplessness about
cancer have been fueled by industry, critics assert.
AT LEAST ONE industry has taken the political
potential of cancer seriously and has
already gone on the offensive. The St.
Louis-based chemical conglomerate Monsanto is
now sponsoring a $4-$6 million national TV and
multi-media as campaign which, in the words of
EDF's Harris, "is trying to convince the public that
not everything causes cancer, and of those
chemicals that do, the benefits outweigh the
Monsanto spokesman Ken Clark denied the
allegation, saying, "the rpogram is a very candid,
no b-s approach, trying to restore a sense of balan-
ce in the public mind about chemicals."
Clark said.the campaign is a reaction to "chemo-
phobia." which he defined as "an irrational fear of
everything having to do with chemicals. After all,
life is chemical," he said.
THE AMERICAN Cancer Society (ACS) may be
cancer, but mainly from the curing - not preven-
tative - end of it.
But if the ACS is intent on cure, others are begin-
ning to look into the politics of cancer. The seeds for
a political movement to prevent the environmental
causes do seem to exist.
The 1973 strike against Shell Oil Company, when
Oil, Chemical and SAtomic Workers Union (OCAW)
workers went out for six months, was specifically
over work hazards. Although the conflict ended in a
stand-off, according to Mazzocchi, "it was the first
time carcinogenic conditions in the workplace were
made widely known."
IN WASHINGTON, a group called the Public In-
terest Roundtable has been meeting monthly for
more than a year to hammer out policis to attack
cancer. It includes laborleaders, academicians and
environmentalists, and has quietly lobbied for ap-
pointees to.the National Cancer Institute, Environ-
mental Protection Agency and otger pertinent
The Roundtable may be a preface to a growing
coalition on the cancer frontier between environ-
mentalists and unionists. With cancer as the target,
the traditional differences between the middle class
dominated environmental groups and the blue-
collar unions may be overcome.
Even now, a coalition of the two concerns is pul-
ling for passage of the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration's (OSHA). proposed generic
standards for carcinogens in the workplace. OSHA
currently regulates a mere 17 carcinogenic
chemicals and that as the result of lobbying by the
OCAW and Ralph Nader's Health Research Group
in the early 1970s.
THE NEW OSHA standards would break down
carcinogens into four categories and eliminate
many problems of the currently used chemical-by-
chemical regulation process, With hearings due in
May, industry opponents have already geared up
for the fight, forming the American Industrial
Health Association. Mazzocchi estimates the
Association has raised some $350 million for lobbying
and media campaigns directed against the new
While the fight shapes up, it is interesting that
some of the most effective cancer-related politics
have come from largely conservative groups
seeking to legalize Latrile. Although generally
regarded by the medical profession as aecancer
placebo, pro-Laetrile forces such as the Committee
for Freedom of Choice in Cancer Therapy - based
in Los Altos, California and claiming 500 chapters
nationwide - have used intense lobbying to secure
legalization for the controversial drug in 15 states,
with more expected to follow.
w Cancer prevention politicos can hardly claim
such impressive legislative records, but they are
devising strategies to raise public awareness and
funnel a chunk of the millions of government and
foundation cancer research dollars -into effective
cancer prevention. If successful, big changes could
lie ahead for numerous products now on the market
andmin countless workplaces.
Unionist Mazzocchi thinks a "Right to Know" law
is imperative. "We're never going to prevent can-
cer in the neighborhoods unless people know what
they're working with."
"I think people will be mobilized over their
children," said EDF's Bob Harris, pointing to Tris,
the carcinogenic flame retardent in children's
pajamas, and to contaminants showing up in breast
One research scientist, however, thinks the
politics of cancer may just pop up naturally if the
disease continues to spread, as figures now indicate
it will. "Clearly, if there is a big increase in can-
cer," he said, "I don't think you'll need to worry
about a coalition against it. It will just happen.