Action Alert!

Acceptable risks?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Apr 04, 2003

Maybe you already saw the story mentioned in our News Bytes: Cancer researchers have found evidence that women who use birth-control pills for a decade apparently double their risk of contracting cervical cancer.

Remember the artificial sweeteners called cyclamates? About 30 years ago, evidence emerged that cyclamates might have caused a slight increase in the rate of bladder cancer among laboratory rats who consumed prodigious quantities of the stuff. Notice that there was never a clear correlation; the evidence was inconclusive. And this was for lab rats; there was never any evidence of harm to humans.

Still, because there was a mere suspicion that cyclamates might be unhealthy, they were pulled off the market. You can't buy cyclamates in the US today. But you can buy birth-control pills.

We Americans take good care of our lab rats.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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