100% natural cancer

“Natural” foods and products seem to be all the rage these days.  Buzzwords like “organic,” “free range,” and “gluten free” convey a sense of health and superiority to other products.  But not all natural products are good for you.

Talcum powder on black background

This is not the powder you’re looking for.

Talc in talcum powder is a naturally-occurring mineral, similar in composition to asbestos. Research suggests, however, that talc may be linked to ovarian cancer.  Two recent cases against Johnson & Johnson in St. Louis found that they knew about the risk of ovarian cancer and never disclosed it.

What does this mean to you:

Interestingly, talcum powder is not regulated by the FDA, as other products are, but the makers should still warn about its potential dangers.  I guess talc is not considered a drug.  Or, you know, a food.  What I’m saying is, don’t eat talcum powder.

Big Tobacco and Big UV

Aside from causing cancer and making you look brown, it appears tobacco now shares yet another undesirable trait with tanning beds: deceptive marketing techniques.

solarium treatment

An industry trade group has now produced a video for employees of tanning “salons” so they can extoll the virtues of getting more vitamin D through tanning.  Which is, you know, like good for you and stuff.  Recall that medical doctors used to recommend particular brands of cigarettes as well.

What does this mean to you:

Though its often hard to know the difference between a “trade association” and an “industry front group,” remember that the source, motivation, and funding behind a message are often as important as the message itself.