Every May 27 we mark Rachel Carson Day – a visionary scientist, campaigner and author of The Silent Spring.
This Rachel Carson Day we are sharing our FPTP toolkit. Please share! Ongoing awareness raising is vital, given the decades of resistance by the ‘cancer establishment’ (government, research breast cancer charities and industry) to address the issue.
As part of this effort earlier this year, in February, we met again with senior staff at the leading UK breast cancer charity Breast Cancer Now. Our primary task in our discussions with the organisation remains two-fold: to keep the pressure up for them to acknowledge the overwhelming scientific evidence that links environmental and occupational risk to breast cancer and leading on from that, to carry this information in all their public-facing information materials. We argue it is to deny women the full picture on breast cancer risk to be ‘airbrushing’ this aspect of the disease out of the picture.
And government too, needs pushing.
Over the past 12 months, as part of the Brexit debate, we have been part of the lobby to ensure the UK stays inside the EU Chemical Regulatory regime known as REACH. Helen Hayes MP has been incredibly supportive of our work on this. Last October, she hosted our Westminster Portculllis House event ‘Brexit and Breast Cancer’, and she recently submitted a Written Parliamentary Question on this same issue to Secretary of State for the environment Michael Gove on behalf of From Pink to Prevention and our partner The Alliance for Cancer Prevention.
There are ever more studies linking everyday exposures to harmful chemicals to ill-health, including breast cancer. And more of the public are becoming aware of the problem, often in spite of the mainstream – be it the ‘pinking’ of breast cancer and superficial (or worse, biased) media reporting in relation to risk factors, or the failure of both breast cancer research charities and government cancer plans to include or address environmental and occupational risk factors.
Rachel Carson could clearly see why these deliberate omissions will, in the end, take their toll on the health of all living creatures.
“We poison the gnats in a lake and the poison travels from link to link of the food chain and soon the birds of the lake margins become its victims. We spray our elms and the following springs are silent of robin song, not because we sprayed th e robins directly but because the poison traveled, step by step, through the now familiar elm leaf-earthworm-robin cycle. These are matters of record, observable, part of the visible world around us. They reflect the web of life or death that scientists know as ecology.”
Here, Margaret Atwood’s articleon why Rachel Carson is a Saint.
In light of the upcoming debate in the House of Lords on Monday 5th and Wednesday 7th March discussing what will happen to UK chemicals regulations after Brexit, From Pink to Prevention calls on the Lords not play hard Brexit with our health. For the sake of the health of current and future generations, we hope the Lords will ultimately vote to keep the UK under current and upcoming European pesticide and chemicals regulations. Continue reading Don’t play hard Brexit with our health – House of Lords.
As the country stumbles towards a shambolic and increasingly disastrous Brexit and just when we thought things can’t get any worse, a leaked government impact assessment report reiterates how the UK will be worse off after Brexit under every scenario studied. The assessment, called the EU Exit Analysis – Cross Whitehall Briefing details the fact that almost every sector and UK region will be negatively impacted, with chemicals, clothing, manufacturing, food and drink being hardest hit, after we Brexit. Continue reading Brexit – no excuse for playing politics with our health.
Brexit and Breast cancer an event to mark the end of Breast Cancer Prevention Month Portcullis House Westminster, October 2017
Chair: Deborah Burton.
We need to say; no to deregulation, say yes to staying under REACH including current and future EU chemical and pesticides regulation, yes to the polluter must pay and we need enshrine the precautionary principle in any future chemicals policy after Brexit. These were the main conclusions of the Brexit and Breast Cancer event to mark the end of what we are renaming, Breast Cancer Prevention month.
Sponsored by Helen Hayes MP, the event explored why there was so little discussion, in those pre Brexit negotiations, about the huge benefits the UK enjoys by being a member of the European Union? Benefits that ensure our rights and protections, protect us at work, underpin trade, and prevent industry from indulging in harmful environmental and working practices to feed the ever growing desire to undercut others and make higher profits. Continue reading Why we need to keep REACH and progressive EU regs for breast cancer prevention
Under European law we are currently protected by the best chemicals regulation in the world. When we leave the EU we risk losing this protection which has benefitted our health, our wildlife and our environment for decades. European environment and chemicals laws are underpinned by principles which serve to protect health and environment – protection which British civil society has helped shape. Through Brexit we are threatened with losing this vital protection. As it stands, the current EU withdrawal bill does not mention health, environment or women.
Some progressive MPs are taking action to ensure that our health and environment are as protected as business interests. They are tabling amendments to the EU withdrawal bill which will add health and environmental protection to the bill. Right now we need to support those MPs and their amendments as well as calling on our own MPs to voice our concern.
The debate on this bill is set to start on the 14th of November so it is urgent that we contact our MPs now and ask them to support the inclusion of these amendments.
Continue reading A call to all women -why you need to contact your MP now! Demand a Brexit Bill fit for our health.
Event hosted by the National Alliance of Women’s Organisations; From Pink to Prevention, and Alliance for Cancer Prevention. As we come to the end of Breast Cancer Prevention Month, we will be considering the implications of Brexit on breast cancer and exploring the answers with a range of experts and campaigners.
Date: Thursday 26 October 11am-1pm
Venue: Attlee Room, Portcullis House
The chances are you’ll never have thought about breast cancer prevention in relation to Brexit. Yet they are linked. For example, our clean beaches and seas benefit from progressive EU legislation. Our health as citizens, consumers and workers most certainly has benefited and continues to benefit from EU legislation. The European chemicals regulation REACH is a highly sophisticated, progressive pan-EU system to control toxic chemicals and, though not perfect, is nevertheless regarded as the best in the world. At its heart is ‘the precautionary principle’ which means to take action to prevent harm, even if there is uncertainty.
Continue reading NEWS RELEASE: BREXIT & BREAST CANCER: In this Breast Cancer Prevention Month, the real impact of Brexit on breast cancer needs to be understood