Moving to the U.S. will increase your cancer risk by 400%.

Via on Jun 20, 2011

{Robyn O’Brien, Ted Talks}

My friend Keith Martin-Smith, having seen this video, asks:

“Moving to the U.S. will increase your cancer risk by 400%. She links the increase risk to the fact we’re the only nation that allows engineered corn, milk, and soy onto its shelves. Wow.

A stunning look at the U.S. food market, competitiveness overseas, consumer lack of knowledge, and the healthcare industry. Really amazing. Thoughts?”

Our friend Robyn rocks it. 185,000 views and counting:

YouTube Preview Image

Robyn shares her personal story and how it inspired her current path as a “Real Food” evangelist. Grounded in a successful Wall Street career that was more interested in food as good business than good-for-you, this mother of four was shaken awake by the dangerous allergic reaction of one of her children to a “typical” breakfast. Her mission to unearth the cause revealed more about the food industry than she could stomach, and impelled her to share her findings with others. Informative and inspiring.

About this speaker

Robyn authored “The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It.” A former Wall Street food industry analyst, Robyn brings insight, compassion and detailed analysis to her research into the impact that the global food system is having on the health of our children. She founded allergykidsfoundation.org and was named by Forbes as one of “20 Inspiring Women to Follow on Twitter.” The New York Times has passionately described her as “Food’s Erin Brockovich.”

http://allergykidsfoundation.org

http://twitter.com/unhealthytruth

Before we released our speaker’s names, we featured a series of Speaker Teasers. Here, Robyn’s:

Real food, is that too much to ask;

Big industry, I take to task;

It’s time that we reclaim our plates;

from food forced into altered states.

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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20 Responses to “Moving to the U.S. will increase your cancer risk by 400%.”

  1. Alex_Prescott says:

    Thanks for sharing this Waylon. She does a great job of weaving all these different issues of food together into a comprehensive picture; of where we are at. Keep on educating! One mouth at a time

  2. bootsinflow says:

    Despite our government's arguably criminal avoidance of the evidence linking genetically modified food to adverse health effects, the governments of other nations are aware of the dire risks to human and environmental health these GMOs pose.Yet America is the only country in the world which does not require GMO ingredients or foods to be labeled as such.
    If you loved that video, check out this article: http://www.sayerji.com/published-writings/gamma-i

  3. [...] father died of colon cancer. My husband, he has a 1 in 2 chance of getting cancer. And according to Robyn O’Brien, “moving to the U.S. will increase a person’s cancer risk by 400%.” Well I was born here so that doesn’t make my chances look too [...]

  4. Ed Flaherty says:

    It's amazing that there has been such an information blackout on GMO in the US, so this video is a good thing. Yet, we can go further. The proteins in non-GMO grains and legumes are pretty new to humans, evolutionarily speaking, and cause a lot of damage in some people's gut lining. My allergies have cleared up quite a bit getting off grains, legumes and dairy. I think the crowd at TED would be intelligent enough to hear someone like Loren Cordain and get the message.

  5. I think living among 104 nuclear reactors, half of them leaking, probably doesn't help either. The only other place with that much cancer is France, and guess what? They managed to jam 58 reactors in a country the size of Texas. That, plus all the crap women put on their skin and on their face, it's no wonder…

  6. Diane says:

    I moved to the US in 2010 and was diagnosed with breast cancer 8 months later. I'm not sure if I came over here (from Asia) with the cancer, or that the CA developed because of the "different" food I was suddenly exposed to. So, I'm now a statistic –
    the 1 in 8 women that you talked about!!

  7. dusanmal says:

    Science, please!

    One must separate many different issues this lady is trying to trivialize by mushing them together without proper proof.

    1) Is there more cancer in US? Yes. Is food to blame (alone)? Absolutely not. US suffers from wide consequences of advanced technology and conveniences, result of being rich. Some food issues are a fraction of the problem. Root of the problem: heavy metals, plastics, extreme amounts of artificially introduced hormones in the biosphere. Some of these will enter via the food supply, some not. None care if food is GM or not (ex. rampant estrogen concentrations hurt us via non-GM cattle and via wild caught salmon…).
    2) Are GM foods good and blameless? No. But we are barking under wrong tree if we attempt to assign cancer causing risk to them. GM foods main risks are damage to normal crops (well documented “weed-like” spread of these crops) and long term danger of introducing backdoor for inter-species viral infections. First one we need to fight now. Second one haven’t produced anything yet but if it ever does consequences would be immediate and potentially catastrophic. So it is not risk of cancer but other maybe even more dangerous effects we need to worry about when GM food is in question. Diluting issue with unproven cancer risk damages the cause of opposition to GM foods.
    Just because A is true and B is true does not mean that A causes B.

  8. tim says:

    I have to echo some of dusanmal's thoughts. I believe there is a case of scientific illiteracy (or ignorance?) in Ms. O’Brien’s presentation as well as here on Elephant Journal. I really don’t know if she is a Type A person, but it does seem that she definitely loves herself.

    I am suspect of many of her allegations. A cursory search of clinician data at the American Cancer Society indicates that there are higher rates of cancer in developing nation as well as much higher rates of mortality. I suppose Ms. O'Brien is stating something along the lines of on a per capita basis the U.S. has a plurality of cancer; I am not certain as she fails to actually cite her data. If we assume that her argument is correct, then there are other things we need to consider. With regular screening and reasonable access to medical care, we should not be surprised that the rate of disease discovery is higher in the U.S. relative to other countries that may not screen for diseases.

    Again, if we assume her allegations are true, I don’t think it is correct to blame food. How about lung cancer, by far the most common cancer in the world? If we were to remove that data, how would the rates be? How about obesity rates and ethnicity variables? How about non-food related instances? Frankly, I think she is saying things for shock value and fear mongering.

    I believe the protests against GMO are largely not based on any fact or reason. Instead of lambasting how the U.S. is so permissible, she could have looked into what the EU regulations are (a quick search found: http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biotechnology/gmo_b…. While there may be valid arguments against GMO foods, the implication that if we eliminate them then cancer rates will decline is absolutely erroneous. Furthermore, scientifically we typically cannot truly prove anything safe. We can only do risk assessments.

    My concern is people watch or read material such as this and have a knee jerk reaction that is not based on reason or science.

    • Katherine says:

      And what's wrong with a knee jerk reaction towards eating healthier, Mr. corporate diversion tactic number 2? :o)

  9. [...] In a recent Ted Talk, Robyn O’Brien (author of “The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It.”) recently shared her insight as to why moving to America will increase your cancer risk by 400%. [...]

  10. [...] In a recent Ted Talk, Robyn O’Brien (author of “The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It.”) recently shared her insight as to why moving to America will increase your cancer risk by 400%. [...]

  11. [...] In a recent Ted Talk, Robyn O’Brien (author of “The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It.”) recently shared her insight as to why moving to America will increase your cancer risk by 400%. [...]

  12. [...] In a recent Ted Talk, Robyn O’Brien (author of “The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It.”) recently shared her insight as to why moving to America will increase your cancer risk by 400%. [...]

  13. [...] Sick and What We Can Do About It.”) recently shared her insight as to why moving to America will increase your cancer risk by 400%.This information has been ignored for too long and is definitely the reason President Obama tasked [...]

  14. [...] Moving to the U.S. will increase your cancer risk by 400% [...]

  15. Gordon says:

    You eat unhealthy animals your going to have unhealthy people. Simple

  16. Sherrell Beckendorf says:

    Most people don’t realise that the 1700% APR’s that they see around are not actually what they have to pay. They would usually pay about 20% for a 30 day loan. Thank you for the brill article.

  17. morganbee says:

    Wow – this is amazing. Way to take an issue and really get the messaging into a tight, digestible piece of information! Keep up the good work!

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