9 Aug 2011

Caution advised on blood cancer study

1:01 pm on 9 August 2011

Federated Farmers says the results of a study which found children growing up on farms could have a higher chance of getting blood cancers later in life, need to be interpreted with caution.

The study by Massey University shows exposure during infancy and childhood to farms with animals, especially poultry, may increase the chance of blood cancers such as leukaemia and myeloma in adulthood.

The study analysed the death records of New Zealanders aged 35 - 85, from 1998 - 2003 and found about 3000 of those were related to blood cancers.

The report says more research is needed to better investigate the relationship with farming and cancer.

Federated Farmers vice-president William Rolleston says the study raises more questions than answers at this stage.

Dr Rolleston says the study serves as a reminder that there need to be safe practices on farms just as there are in other work places.