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Cancer fears can be wrongly placed says APVMA science fellow

16 April 2012

APVMA Science Fellow, Professor Stewart—an internationally recognised cancer expert and one of Australia's leading experts on carcinogenic substances— has had an article titled 'Priorities for cancer prevention: lifestyle choices versus unavoidable exposures' published in the March 2012 edition of Lancet Oncology (external site).

Professor Stewart's paper says while it is good policy to regularly monitor for pesticide residues (external site) in our food and to adopt measures to reduce them to the lowest possible level, residues in the Australian food supply don't account for any recognised burden of cancer.

In his paper Professor Bernard Stewart says that smoking, drinking too much alcohol, obesity, and over-exposure to the sun are the big four proven causes of cancer. Yet many people worry about getting cancer from things like car interiors, pesticide residues in food, or certain cosmetic contaminants.

"Modern society fears cancer above any other disease," said Professor Stewart.

"And sometimes people's concerns about chemicals in food and consumer products may distract them from taking measures proven to reduce the likelihood of developing cancer," he said.

The APVMA Science Fellows Program was established in 2006 to enhance the quality of regulatory science and help build public confidence in the scientific assessment work undertaken by the APVMA.

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Last updated on 16 April, 2012
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