Is Sen Ted W Lieu corrupt or just misinformed?
The anti-tanning headlines last week were dominated by the report from an initiative by a legislator in California who asked the FTC to “rein in” the American Suntanning Association because of their attempts to disclose the lies about UV-exposure and skin-cancer spread by dermatologists and their corporate sponsors.
Sen Ted W Lieu of Torrance, author of California’s first-in-the-nation law banning youths under age 18 from using indoor tanning beds, released a letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging it to order ASA to halt its false statements on the dangers of indoor tanning.
This is how Sen. Lieu starts his letter to the FTC …
“I commend the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for its May 2010 Order prohibiting the Indoor Tanning Association (ITA) from making false statements regarding the purported safety and health benefits of indoor UV tanning. Unfortunately, some members of this trade group have now formed the American Suntanning Association (ASA) to mislead the public about the health effects of dangerous indoor tanning. An organization should not be able to escape an order of the FTC by simply changing its name and some of its members. I respectfully request the Federal Trade Commission apply its 2010 Order to the ASA.”
The newly created American Suntanning Association is blamed for …
“Rather than accepting the overwhelming medical evidence that indoor tanning is a cause of skin cancer, the ASA fabricates its own false “science” in a blatant attempt to mislead consumers.”
What then drives Sen. Lieu in his quest to deprive Americans of sunlight and the vitamin D it can create?
First, any proposal to limit a person’s access to UV-light from the natural sun or from the lamps in a sunbed should NOT be made based upon emotions, anecdotal hearsay and spun press-releases.
Such proposals should also not rely only on a blind trust in the misinformation from dermatology organizations whose sponsors are the big winners of the many false skin-cancer cases detected through their sponsored early detection campaigns. (Click here for the article about melanoma-marketing)
To take away the possibility to get vitamin D in the way nature intended it, has far more serious adverse health consequences than the minuscule, not proved and easy negotiated risk of someone getting too much exposure.
The facts, which anyone who are really interested easily can find online, are the following:
1. There are no evidences what-so-ever that regular sub-erythemal (i.e. non-burning) UV-exposure increase the risk for melanoma. (Actually there are evidence of that regular sun-exposure reduce the risk). The much referred to decisions in IARC about classifying sunlight and sunbeds as carcinogens in the most dangerous group, were based upon meta-analyses with a biased weighting towards a few of the studies to make UV-light look more dangerous than it really is. Those few studies were, by the way, funded by the world’s largest manufacturer of sun-protection cosmetics.
2. The increase in diagnoses of melanoma has nothing to do with reality but is rather a part of the campaign to scare people into using more and more sunscreen cosmetics. A report from a huge multinational study was published just some months ago. The report shows that as many as 93 out of 100 cases initially classified and operated upon (not only biopsies) as malign melanoma turned out to be only benign skin-lesions after post-operational analyses. Since the cancer reporting systems do not allow for any corrections, the initial verdicts remain in the statistic. Now maybe you can guess why cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies are spending millions on sponsoring early detection campaigns like “melanoma-days” or “skin-cancer awareness month”.
Coming back to the question in the title of this article: “Is Sen. Ted W. Lieu corrupt or just misinformed?”, let’s look at who are the sponsors of his initial bill about the 18-year limit for indoor tanners in California and who also are supporting his latest initiative: AIM at Melanoma, a cancer-research organization committed to increasing support for melanoma research; and the California Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, or CalDerm, comprising board-certified dermatologists.
In the two images below, you can see that the sponsors of those two groups are companies producing and selling medical remedies towards skin-diseases. Their main sales-channel for their products is through dermatologists and their customers are those millions of people diagnosed, most often wrongly, with skin-cancer. It is very naïve to believe that those companies would sponsor any political initiative which could threaten their business through curbing skin-cancer.
If we follow the money, it is quite clear that Sen. Lieu’s previous bill and his letter to the FDA has nothing to do with saving the American people from skin-cancer but rather to create more anti-tanning publicity and to drive even more people from the sun and into dermatologists offices.
So the question remains – is Sen. Ted W. Lieu corrupt or just misinformed?
Express your opinion in the comments below!