Seriously, WTF: Have You Ever Heard Of The 1939 Cancer Act?
Why would a law like the 1939 Cancer Act ever be passed, preventing the dissemination of potentially life-saving information and therapies?
In the UK, approximately 1 in 3 people have been diagnosed with cancer. Anyone in their right mind would think that this alarming statistic would prompt exploration of every avenue possible in finding more cures. That isn’t the case, however. Instead, the 1939 Cancer Act, an archaic law is reemerging, forcing viable therapies and science into the shadows. Why? It is strictly good business.
A law that created a monopoly on life
Why would a law ever be passed preventing the dissemination of potentially life-saving information and therapies? The Cancer Act of 1939 in the UK was designed with one goal: to protect the interests of a government business deal.
You see, at the time, the practice of using radiation to treat cancer was a newborn concept, and prohibitively expensive. The pharmaceutical industry went to the government for a loan.
Governments tend to only bet on a sure thing, and with emerging alternative therapies to radiation quickly gaining renown, they couldn’t give a loan to an industry doomed to failure. But rather than deny the loan, they saw the perfect profit mechanism and wrote a law.
What does the 1939 Cancer Act do?
Touted as a protection for the people against “charlatans and quacks,” the law made it illegal to promote, write about, or even speak about cancer therapies other than radiation. The freedom of speech so prized in Britain fell under the premise of protection from fraud.
Of course, the truth of free economics was never considered, or if so, only as an obstacle in the path of profit. A bad product or service invariably falls out of favor and dies away through customer choice and word of mouth. Unless that is, that bad service receives protection by artificial strictures against healthy competition.
Such is the case with the National Radium Trust, who was the sole source of the Radium that was used in the therapy. In one section of the law, a ten-year limit was placed on loans to the national industry but was later repealed.
Is it any surprise that governments protect their interests?
Within the Act, only a select list of groups receive access to information about alternative treatments.
- Members of the government
- Heads of hospitals
- Medical practitioners and practitioners in training
- Salesmen for surgical supplies
Notice that the list excludes the general population from hearing about other treatments.
Charlatans and quacks
Yet these so-called “snake oil salesmen” often purveyed oils and tinctures made from cannabis. These, as we know today, act as amazingly effective cures for cancer and a host of other ailments. Were they to gain legitimacy, they could ruin the pioneering practice of radiation therapy.
While Radium’s status as a rare element made it easy to control the supply for profit, cannabis grows like a weed. See the dilemma?
Silencing the truth
Consequently, even today, lectures from specialists and intellectuals face dispersal under the law. As a result, their authors and practitioners receive public ridicule and professional ostracism. As the law stands, claiming that cannabis can cure cancer, even with scientific proof, carries a criminal penalty under British law including fines and prison.
Though seldom used, people continue to face prosecution even in recent years under the law.
Do you think that the government should repeal the archaic 1939 Cancer Act? Tell us on social media or in the comments below.