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Bad Food Increases Cancer Incidents in Kurdistan | HEMIN BABAN

ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan: As the border has almost unrestrictedly been open for unchecked Turkish, Iranian and Chinese exported foods and goods, there were 4746 cases of cancer found here in the federal region of Kurdistan in Iraq in 2009, 463 of them died, and 19 were under 5 years old, according to the statistics provided by the government last week.

The numbers also told that breast cancer among women was the most widespread kind of the disease making up an almost one forth of it in the region.

The rate has been equally high for both the medical experts and average citizens in Kurdistan-with an estimated 4-million population- that has almost spared itself from the violence plaguing the rest of the country since 2003 and, in turn, led to the emergence of a notable economic and social progress.

Experts say that the main reason for the upsurge of certain kinds of cancer in the north of Iraq is the imported food that easily lacks hygienic standards due to the absence of an effective quality-control system in the border ports.

“Bad quality of the imported food is the main reason for cancer in the Kurdistan region. A sizeable amount of expired food has been and is imported to the region,” said Dr. Nizar Taha Maky, a Baghdad-based expert in cancer diseases.

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