Now Fruit Juice Is Linked to a Higher Cancer Risk

Drinking soda doesn’t just threaten to make us fat, it could be linked to a higher risk of cancer, judging from a new study. But here’s the more surprising part: so could fruit juices.

Increased daily consumption of about 3.4 ounces of soda — roughly a third of a can of Coke — was associated with an 18% greater risk of some cancers in a study published in the British Medical Journal. The likelihood of breast tumors alone rose even more, by 22%. When people drank the same amount of unsweetened fruit juice, they were also more likely to develop cancer, the researchers found.

The research, part of a broader effort carried out in France to investigate links between nutrition and health, is one of the first to find a connection between sweet drinks and cancer. The findings may also taint the image of fruit juices, which are often perceived — and promoted — as healthy.

“All beverages — either with sugar or without — are safe to consume as part of a balanced diet,” the American Beverage Association said in a statement. Beverage companies are working to provide more choices with reduced or no sugar, smaller package sizes and clear calorie information, according to the industry group.

The researchers tracked 97 beverages and 12 artificially sweetened ones, including carbonated ones, sports drinks, syrups and pure fruit juices. The correlations they found don’t necessarily mean the beverages alone lead to cancer. The study didn’t seek to understand the reason for the link, though the researchers speculated that sugar’s effect on visceral fat, blood-sugar levels and inflammation may play a role. Additives found in sodas and pesticides in fruit could also have an impact, they wrote.

“These data support the relevance of existing nutritional recommendations to limit sugary drink consumption, including 100% fruit juice, as well as policy actions, such as taxation and marketing restrictions targeting sugary drinks,” the authors wrote in conclusion.

Taxing on sweet products and labeling the front of packages can help reduce sugar consumption, especially if pure fruit juice is included in the measures, according to a study from the University of Waterloo published in May.

The French study found no increased cancer risk from sugar-free drinks, although so few of the people studied consumed them that the results may not be significant, the researchers said. Water, unsweetened tea and coffee also showed no heightened risk.

The research is part of France’s NutriNet-Sante, a web-based study following about 100,000 volunteers since 2009.

Wide Range of Diseases Linked to Pesticides

Vol. 30, No. 2, Summer 2010 | Pesticides and You | by Kagan Owens, Jay Feldman
and John Kepner

Beyond Agricultural Pesticide Exposure – Asthma, Autism, ADHD, ADD, Birth Defects, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Brain Cancer, Breast Cancer, Leukemia, Learning Disorders, Parkinson’s and on and …

While agriculture has traditionally been tied to pesticide-related illnesses, of the 40 most commonly used pesticides in schools, 28 can cause cancer, 14 are linked to endocrine disruption, 26 can adversely affect reproduction, 26 are nervous system poisons and 13
can cause birth defects. Of of the 30 most commonly used lawn pesticides, 19 can cause cancer, 13 are linked to birth defects, 21 can affect reproduction and 15 are nervous system toxicants. A number of published studies using animal toxicity data and human cells/tissue laboratory data also show that pesticides are linked to several major public health problems.

Epidemiology: The Challenge of Finding Patterns of Harm

Despite evidence to the contrary, chemical industry critics of epidemiologic studies linking pesticides to major diseases argue that they are of limited value because of their reliance on records and study participants’ memory, among other issues. In fact, the correlation
of patterns of chemical use with an effect is difficult to establish in epidemiology and therefore may underestimate hazard effects.  When a correlation is established it raises serious concern.  The epidemiologic studies in the Pesticide-Induced Diseases Database show an overall pattern that links pesticide exposure to major diseases.

Endocrine Disruption

Common household products –detergents, disinfectants, plastics, and pesticides– contain chemical ingredients that enter the body, disrupt hormones and cause adverse developmental, disease, and reproductive problems. Known as endocrine disruptors, these
chemicals, which interact with the endocrine system, wreak havoc in humans and wildlife.
Endocrine System
The endocrine system consists of a set of glands (thyroid, gonads, adrenal and pituitary) and the hormones they produce (thyroxine, estrogen, testosterone and adrenaline),
which help guide the development, growth, reproduction, and behavior of animals, including humans. Hormones are signaling molecules, which travel through the bloodstream and elicit responses in other parts of the body. Endocrine disruptors function by: (i) Mimicking the action of a naturally-produced hormone, such as estrogen or testosterone, thereby setting off similar chemical reactions in the body; (ii) Blocking hormone receptors in cells, thereby preventing the action of normal hormones; or (iii) Affecting the synthesis, transport, metabolism and excretion of hormones, thus altering the concentrations of natural hormones. Endocrine disruptors havebeen linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, early puberty, infertility and other reproductive disorders, and childhood and adult cancers.
More than 50 pesticide active ingredients have been identified as endocrine disruptors by the European Union and endocrine disruptor expert Theo Colborn, PhD. Endocrine disruption is the mechanism for several health effect endpoints.
To view this article in its entirety see Beyond Pesticides – Pesticides and You.
Database can be viewed here at Pesticide-Induced Diseases Database.


Frequent cases of lung, breast and bowel cancer through GLYPHOSATE…number of miscarriages risen sharply…strong rise in number of birth defects in these areas

Independent Scientists Warn Over Monsanto Pesticide – Glyphosate

January 12, 2015 | By Gero Rueter and Ruby Russell |

Two major agencies disagree over whether the world’s most-used pesticide, glyphosate, is safe.  As the European Union debates the topic, nearly 100 scientists from around the world have urged it to heed safety warnings.

It’s the most commonly used – and perhaps also most controversial – pesticide in the world: glyphosate. Opinion between the European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) is divided over whether it likely causes cancer.

And on Tuesday (01.12.2015), the European Parliament debated the topic. In the leadup to each side presenting their positions, 96 scientists from 25 countries published an open letter to EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, criticizing the EFSA’s recent decision that the chemical is “probably not carcinogenic.”

The EFSA’s finding counters an assessment earlier this year by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen.”

In their letter, the scientists called on the European Commission “to disregard the flawed EFSA finding on glyphosate,” and called for a “transparent, open and credible review of the scientific literature.”

Bad science?

The EFSA’s decision was based on assessment by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), which the signatories to the letter said was “not credible because it is not supported by the evidence, and it was not reached in an open and transparent manner.”

Protest in Berlin against the glyphosate

All over the world, environmental activists have called for a ban on glyphosate pesticide

The scientists called the IARC’s assessment more credible. The lead signatory of the letter, Christopher Portier, told DW that the scientists felt compelled to submit their letter because, “as a group, we thought that decision was not supported scientifically.”

“It was based on a rejection of what other experts judge to be a positive association between glyphosate and cancer in humans,” Portier said.

Portier is senior contributing scientist at the Envrionmental Defense, and former associate director of the United States National Toxicology Program.

The group from the letter also includes scientists specializing in cancer, epidemiology and public health at major universities and cancer research institutes around the world – although they stressed that they were not speaking on behalf of these organizations.

Doctors report rise in cancer

Glyphosate was developed by transnational chemical company Monsanto, and is the key ingredient in its pesticide Roundup. Glyphosate is also sold by other major corporations including Syngenta and Bayer.

Doctors, environmentalists and some farmers have long called for a ban on the pesticide.

 Medardo Avila Vazquez (c) Gero Reuter

Argentine pediatrician Medardo Avila Vazquez believes there is a clear link between glyphosate and cancer in humans.

“We can clearly see that people are getting sick from glyphosate,” Argentine pediatrician Medardo Avila Vazquez told DW in a recent interview.  “There are frequent cases of lung, breast and bowel cancer” through glyphosate, he added.

Vazquez, a pharmacologist who has carried out epidemiological studies in Argentina, added that cancer was not the only concern.

“In villages surrounded by soy fields, where lots of glyphosate is sprayed, we note that the number of miscarriages has risen sharply,” he said. “There is also a strong rise in the number in birth defects in these areas.”

Quality over quantity

Speaking to the European Parliament on Tuesday, the EFSA said that it had reached its assessment based on a larger number of studies that the IARC did not include. EFSA director Bernhard Url told lawmakers it was “the most state-of-the-art and comprehensive assessment to date.”

The IARC countered that it went “for quality over quantity,” and looked at a narrower range of peer-reviewed studies by excluding those not in the public domain, and which are therefore unavailable to review and criticism by other scientists.

The IARC also stressed that scientists selected for its assessment process were neutral, and lacked any conflict of interest.

Before the end of June 2016, the European Commission is to make a decision on whether or not to relicense glyphosate in the EU, for up to 15 years.

Ongoing debate

Parliamentarians and European Commissioners stressed a responsibility to public health in proper assessment of the chemical’s impacts, and the intention to issue an appropriate ruling in response.

Also present in public discussion are warnings of a potential fall in crop yields if approval for the pesticide, which European agriculture is heavily dependent upon, were to be withdrawn.

Portier says he hopes the UN will reconsider how it assesses chemicals.

“We hope this letter improves the ways pesticides are reviewed in the future,” he told DW.