- April 2nd, 2007
in the campaign : our health
Antidote Europe's Scientific
Committee notes that the subject of health is rarely tackled by the
candidates in the presidential election and that the basic questions
are still more rarely raised. However, health is our most precious possession
and its protection is worthy of serious efforts. These would not necessarily
involve more expenditure - quite the contrary!
The questionnaire below was
sent to the twelve candidates in the presidential election. One reply
has already been received. All the replies will be published on Antidote
Europe's internet site.
Antidote Europe is a non-profit-making
association set up by researchers from the CNRS working towards better
preventive measures in respect of human health.
The health of the French
people is in a bad way! For instance:
- Cancer is the main cause of death of those under 65. In 2006, 300,000
new cases were added to the 760,000 that already existed. In the least
thirty years, the rate has been increasing by 1.5% per year.
- Neurodegenerative diseases affect 1.5% of the population. In the last
thirty years, the rate has been increasing by between 1 and 1.5% per
year. In 2006, 165,000 new sufferers were added to the 850,000 persons
already suffering from Alzheimer's Disease (which represents 70% of
neurodegenerative diseases cases).
- Among children under the age of 15, 1 out of 8 suffers from a mental
disorder (autism, anorexy, boulimia, schizophrenia, compulsive obsessional
disorders, hyperactivity, etc.) and 1 out of 4 has an allergy.
Main factors responsible:
- Our environment: toxic chemical products, other forms of pollution,
risky ways of living...
- Inadequate therapeutic progress.
Do you undertake to stop
and reverse these tendencies that are disastrous for us and for the
generations to come:
- Through truly scientific
In thirty years, the increase in the expectation of life following a
cancer diagnostic can be counted in weeks. There is no effective medication
against Alzheimer's or Parkinson's Disease or multiple sclerosis or
to eliminate the AIDS virus from the bodies of those who are sero-positive.
In the past thirty years, how many communiqués that triumphantly claimed
decisive progress in mice, rats or monkeys have led to nothing where
human patients are concerned?
We ask you to promote a form of biomedical research that has no recourse
to so-called animal models, since it has been proved that no animal
species is a reliable biological model for human beings.
- Through enhanced protection
of new-born babies and children?
When children are born they already have an average of ten synthetic
chemical substances in their umbilical cord. Food and care products
for babies contain pesticides and chemical additives. Weight for weight,
children eat, drink and breathe more than adults, thus absorbing more
of the chemical substances with which we are surrounded. We call on
you to ban pesticides and toxic additives in baby food, to create a
"future mother's safety" label to help pregnant women to avoid their
being exposed to dangerous substances and to create a "baby's safety"
label for toxic indoor household products (and volatile substances in
- Through flawless prevention?
The toxicity of the 100,000 chemical products with which we may be in
contact must be scientifically evaluated. More than a million premature
deaths annually in Europe could thus be avoided. The European Union
(REACH project) is to test a limited number of these products on animals:
this is dangerous since a product that is "all right for rats" may prove
toxic for us.
We ask you to take action to impose a rigorous evaluation of the toxic
risks. Toxicogenomics, a proven method, has already been adopted abroad,
is valid for human beings, unfalsifiable, a hundred times faster and
a hundred times less expensive than tests on animals.
Scientific progress should
benefit human health. Effective prevention of illnesses is possible
and should be a priority for any government.