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However, women’s health groups focused on the prevention of breast cancer criticized the IOM [Institute of Medicine] for not making a stronger statement and Komen for focusing on finding “definitive” causes, a quest most scientists deem a fool’s errand, both because large-scale human studies are not feasible and because pegging a particular tumor to exposure to a single chemical is near impossible given the variety of chemicals of concern the average woman is exposed to daily. However, as biologist Dr. Sandra Steingraber notes in the documentary Living Downstream, “While you may not be able to say this person’s cancer was caused by this particular chemical, you can say these chemicals in the environment increase the cancer risk for various people, and that should be cause enough for concern.”

“If BPA were being studied as a pharmaceutical drug, it’s highly doubtful, given its interaction with animals, that it would make it into a clinical trial with humans,” says Jeanne Rizzo, RN, president and CEO of Breast Cancer Fund. “It wouldn’t make it into a clinical trial, and yet we’re already in a clinical trial and we’re all the subjects. Except we don’t have a control group.”

Amy Westervelt, “Five Things You Should Know About Environmental Links to Breast Cancer“, Forbes, Dec. 7, 2011.

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