blogpost letter to S.Express on epidemiological cancer and fatuous headline

Please, You Have to stop printing headlines such as “cancer risk of two beers a year”.
Such assertions are not only alarmist but of dubious merit.
First point of objection, to this particular claim, is that anyone, who drinks beer, will have already exceeded that limit by January 1st, every year.
Second point of objection is that scientists do not make such statements.
For a scientist with any integrity to make such a bald statement, he/she would have to prove a causative effect, that could be demonstrated and repeated.
I suspect that this claim has been made by epidemiologists.
These are people, who search for associated factors and make statistical analyses, based on them.
In this instance, I would question first the form of cancer being associated.
Most cancers can be linked to a particular cause. For example lung cancer can be directly linked to tobacco tars.
Which cancer is being linked with beer drinking?
Consider; Until about ten years ago most pub/club interiors had walls stained yellow with tobacco tar and most people, who I know, would frequent such places to celebrate New Year.
I suspect that these scientists would, if funded to do so, find overwhelming evidence that celebrating the New Year causes cancer.
I really do question the integrity of the people making this claim, even if only on the basis that one third of all deaths are related to cancer, yet the fraction of the population exceeding the stated alcohol limit is probably much greater.


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