What You Eat..Has A Real Impact on Your Health
Times Community News Papers


By Bill Couzens

July 11,2007


Recently in the Washington Post it struck me as tragically metaphoric to find two front page stories side by side; one dealing with a delay in treatment for cancer the other reporting on imported Catfish from China that are being raised in waterways that are polluted with sewage, pesticides and heavy metals.

The story in the Post reports that Catfish are being treated with concoctions to include banned chemicals paradoxically for what some of China’s fish farmers describe as “healthy” fish.

According to the Post’s story on imported Catfish, illegal substances like malachite green (a disinfectant powder that has been banned in China for five years is a suspected carcinogen ) keeps showing up in Chinese seafood shipped to the United States instigating a recent partial U.S. ban on like products.

The Cancer Institute reports that two-thirds of all cancers are thought to come from outside of our bodies. And while simply stated there is nothing simple about preventing cancer.

And while so little is known about preventing cancer, In these cases precautionary practices must be applied where there is potential for exposures to impact both the environment and human health, even though the consequences of actions may be unpredictable.

As with smoking and some pesticides if there is an opportunity to avoid those environmental exposures known or suspected of being linked to cancer efforts should be made to avoid such exposures.

Especially for Children.

CHILDREN ARE different from adults. Pound for pound, children eat more food, drink more water, and breathe more air than adults. Thus, they are likely to be exposed to substances in their environment at higher levels than are adults. Exposure to toxicants may result in irreversible damage, even though the same exposure to a mature system may result in little or no damage.

Something as obvious as eating fish farmed in rivers of sewage, pesticides and industrial chemicals associated with cancer are the types of unnecessary and preventable exposures that can be avoided.

Catfish is one of the more affordable fish products on the shelves today; The Washington Post story reported that Catfish from China accounts for five percent for all Catfish in the United States.

One must wonder what type of health outcomes there are for those consumers that have had this type of Catfish as a regular staple.

If we ever know all the outcomes it will clearly be to late…but now is the time we must seek to reduce those unnessary and preventable environmental exposures linked to cancer.


Bill Couzens is the Founder of www. Lesscancer.org and Next Generation Choices Foundation