"For me, the significance of his experiment was..."


Jul 22, 2012
"Many types of phytochemicals are mutagenic, and some of those are carcinogenic. Bruce Ames, at the University of California, devised a method of screening for mutagens, using bacteria. One of his graduate students using the technique found that the flame retardants in children's pajamas and bedding were powerful mutagens, and were probably causing cancer. That event made Ames a celebrity, and in the 1980s he went on a lecture tour supported by the American Cancer Society. His lectures reflected the doctrine of the A.C.S., that industrial chemicals aren't responsible for cancer, but that individual actions, such as smoking or dietary choices, are the main causes of cancer. He used a fraudulently "age adjusted" graph of cancer mortality, that falsely showed that mortality from all types of cancer except lung cancer had leveled off after the A.C.S. came into existence. He described tests in which he had compared DDT to extracts of food herbs, and found DDT to be less mutagenic than several of the most commonly used flavoring herbs. His message, which was eagerly received by his audience of chemistry and biology professors, was that we should not worry about environmental pollution, because it's not as harmful as the things that we do to ourselves. He said that if everyone would eat more unsaturated vegetable oil, and didn't smoke, they wouldn't have anything to worry about.

For me, the significance of his experiment was that plants contain natural pesticides that should be taken more seriously, without taking industrial toxins less seriously."

--Ray Peat in Vegetables, etc.—Who Defines Food?
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