Keep beliefs out of medical science issues, says Potsdam woman
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 6:43 am

To the Editor:

In response to “Criticism Unfounded, Potsdam Resident Says,” criticism should always be anticipated when one engages in presenting junk science in the spreading of political propaganda.

Chris LaRose offers a false comparison of the tobacco-cancer link “controversy” with the abortion-breast cancer (ABC) link “myth,” reminding us of the historical reality of politically motivated denial of scientific evidence. It was publicly known that the scientific community was in consensus that tobacco causes cancer. The ABC Link hypothesis is not supported by a consensus of the scientific community. There is no evidence of “hidden truths.”

The print on the labeling of birth control pills is no different than that on the labeling of thousands of other prescription medications. The warning quoted by LaRose in no way endorses the false statistical risks he asserts.

LaRose’s points 1, 2, and 3 all state the undisputed fact that hormonal contraceptives are recognized by science as known carcinogens. The World Health Organization also lists alcohol and sunlight as carcinogens. Every choice we make involves a risk/benefit equation. The poisonous nature of any agent is defined at the very least by potency, amount, and context of exposure.

Points 4 and 5 are examples of confirmation bias. The Journal of American Physicians & Surgeons is a disreputable publication. It has supported many studies that provide erroneous evidence in contradiction to clear scientific consensus on issues including anti-vaccination hysteria and global warming denial. This journal is not indexed by the National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine, or MEDLINE. The study “The Breast Cancer Epidemic” has been heavily critiqued. (See Science Blogs, Respectful Insolence, “Abortion and breast cancer: The Chicago Tribune feeds the myth” Oct. 27, 2007 http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2007/10/25/abortion-and-breast-cancer-....)

The Wikipedia entry for “abortion-breast cancer hypothesis” is a well-referenced start for anyone interested in further research on the full public availability of information on this topic.

LaRose punctuated his/her letter with an unscientific appeal to “common sense” and an assumption of what criteria constitutes normal or abnormal conditions.

He/she infuses his/her own morality bias into the evaluation of what should be a question of objective medical science.

Terrorizing women with false medical information in an attempt to control their personal, private behavior to conform to one’s own (and perhaps a wee bit patriarchal) religious beliefs does not strike me as “pro-women!”

Therese Miner

Potsdam