Nature is carcinogenic

Published: Saturday 15 January 1994

The man who developed a test for carcinogenic properties in synthetic chemicals now claims virtually all chemical-related cancer scares of the past two decades have been hysterically exaggerated. Applying his test to natural products -- vegetables, for instance -- Bruce Ames, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California at Berkeley, found nature itself chock-a-block with carcinogenic substances (Tomorrow, Vol 3, No 4).

He claims 99.99 per cent of suspected carcinogens in food are courtesy natural sources -- not from additives and chemical residues. Ames even claims herbicides and pesticides actually mitigate the chance of getting cancer because they make fruits and vegetables -- believed to have a protective effect against cancer -- cheaper.

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