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From the Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients
June 2003
Web Page Potpourri: Informative Alternative Health Resources on the Internet
by Marjorie Roswell
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Cancer Prevention Coalition

Please don't confuse (Cancer Prevention Coalition) with (Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation). The latter focuses on early detection and the traditional "war on cancer” which the Cancer Prevention Coalition, by contrast, exposes as deeply flawed.

The Cancer Prevention Coalition's website is a good information source on avoidable exposures (including food irradiation, pesticides, cosmetics, medicines, hormones) and avoidable cancers (including colon, breast, prostate, thyroid, and childhood cancers). As pointedly, though, the site also tackles the deeply political territory of how the "war on cancer” is funded and manifested.

Be sure to check out this recent downloadable report on the site: The Stop Cancer Before it Starts Campaign: How to Win the Losing War Against Cancer. (I am one of the endorsers, and looking at the list of the others, I feel in good company.) The formatting doesn't win any awards, but the content is essentially an exposé of the cancer establishment.

The Coalition's Director, Dr. Samuel Epstein, MD, wrote and later updated the book, The Politics of Cancer, Revisited, a rich 770-page sourcebook. The website and the book have much overlapping content, but the book does have content not on the web, and visa-versa. For instance, the report mentioned above (only on the web) has information on recent election contributions by the chemical industry, and details on flaws in Dianne Feinstein's proposed National Cancer Act. "Regrettably,” it notes, "this well-intentioned Bill unwittingly surrenders the National Cancer Program to special interests.” Both book and website include specific guidelines for reform in national cancer policy.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is not afraid to be a bit edgy. For instance, last year they released an advertisement featuring a glowing school lunch tray filled with a cheeseburger, a pint of milk, some fries and some gloppy looking dessert. The ad, decrying school lunch use of 420 million pounds of surplus meat, was titled "WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.” Do you remember that kind of meal from your youth? I do! I ate that way almost every day in public school.

PCRM points out that, like the meat industry, the dairy interests also maintain power over the National School Lunch Program; cow's milk is required to be offered as part of a "qualifying” meal in order for a school to receive USDA reimbursement. The USDA will not reimburse a school for a lunch that includes a non-dairy beverage, such as calcium-fortified soymilk, except in cases of certified medical need.

PCRM's Healthy School Lunch Campaign website ( offers important information on how to improve the National School Lunch Program, including resources for parents, for schools, and for any nutrition activists concerned about children. The site details how to express support, for instance, for an amendment to the National School Lunch Act that would require the addition of non-dairy beverages as a reimbursable alternative to cow's milk. is one of several companion websites to PCRM's main website ( Others include,,, and

My favorite search term on (when I'm not looking for specific health information) is "lawsuit.” In one successful PCRM-led lawsuit, the court found that the USDA violated federal law by withholding documents revealing bias among members of its Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Currently, PCRM has an active suit against Tyson Foods for false and misleading food advertisements.

Decades after graduating from public school, I'm still trying to "unlearn” the nutritional lessons taught in the school cafeteria. PCRM has been one of my most helpful guides in redirecting my diet toward health-supporting foods.

Marjorie Roswell is a web developer and a geographic information specialist at the University of Maryland Baltimore County Center for Health Program Development and Management.

Marjorie Roswell
3443 Guilford Terrace
Baltimore, Maryland 21218 USA
Phone: 410-467-3727

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