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Remembering DIANA WARD

In January 2019 we lost our long-time friend and campaigning comrade, Diana Ward.

Words cannot express our sense of loss at her not being there with and for us, as she has been for more than 25 years.

Di covered so much ground in her writing, activism, art and travels. In all ways, she was an ice-breaker and her analysis on the politics of breast cancer remains as incisive now as it was when she first started out on her journey to bring public awareness and political action to the issue.

It was an honour to work with her and have her as a dear and close friend. She leaves a powerful legacy of speaking truth to power. A legacy that will continue through our work.

We are remembering Di in a number of ways…

Continue reading Remembering DIANA WARD

Our 2018 Roundup

We had a busy year!

At the start of the year and throughout the Spring, we continued to lobby MPs and Ministers for the UK to stay within EU Chemical regulations after Brexit; we held our annual meeting with leading UK breast cancer research and fundraising charity Breast Cancer Now to argue the long overdue need for them to recognize and act on the scientific evidence linking environmental and occupational links to breast cancer; we took FPTP campaign materials to Labour Conference in September and to end the year, we mounted an ambitious exhibition by our co-founder Diana Ward to mark October ‘Breast Cancer Prevention Month’.

Every day of our lives, from pre-birth to death, we eat, drink, breathe and handle countless numbers of synthetic chemicals. We wear them, we rub them onto our skin and hair, we wash ourselves, our children, our pets, our cars and clothes in them. We sit, sleep, drive, walk and run both in and on them. We spray them on our gardens, our worktops, and into the air in our living and work spaces. We clean our cars, houses, teeth and tools with them. We decorate ourselves and our homes with them. We write, paint and play with them.  This lifelong low-level exposure to hormone disruptors and carcinogens has a health impact.

Diana Ward

Throughout 2018, 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. She hosted our Westminster Portculllis House event ‘Brexit and Breast Cancer’, and 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 . In February, we met again with senior staff at Breast Cancer Now to keep the pressure up for them to acknowledge the overwhelming scientific evidence that links environmental and occupational risk to breast cancer and to carry this information in all their public-facing information materials.
Continue reading Our 2018 Roundup

MAKE THE CONNECTION

An Exhibition of Original Work by Diana Ward, marking Breast Cancer ‘Prevention’ Month launched on Wednesday 17 October.

On Wednesday 17 October UNISON hosted with a reception a new exhibition of 23 original cartoon works by From Pink to Prevention co-founder Diana Ward. Diana’s art-work is a unique way into the subject of the politics of breast cancer and it reflects on the decades of scientific evidence linking environmental and occupational risk factors to breast cancer. Continue reading MAKE THE CONNECTION

RACHEL CARSON DAY

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.”
Rachel Carson.

Here, Margaret Atwood’s articleon why Rachel Carson is a Saint.

NEWS RELEASE: BREXIT & BREAST CANCER: In this Breast Cancer Prevention Month, the real impact of Brexit on breast cancer needs to be understood

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

Celebrating A Visionary Citizen Scientist

RACHEL CARSON DAY 27th MAY

Man has put the vast majority of carcinogens into the environment and he can, if he wishes, eliminate many of them. The most determined effort should be made to eliminate those carcinogens that now contaminate our food, our water supplies, and our atmosphere, because these provide the most dangerous types of contact – minute exposure repeated over and over throughout the years.                                                                             

Silent Spring 1962

RACHEL CARSON marine biologist, writer and conservationist

In the year 1962, Rachel Carson was not only another breast cancer statistic, but the woman whose writing skills and scientific acumen shocked the world upon publication of ‘Silent Spring’ in which her research findings of irreversible reproductive and genetic damage to aquatic-life forms resulting from the use of pesticides and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) were presented in her signature narrative style. Her attention to smaller aquatic life forms at the bottom of the food-chain revealed the multiplier effect for life forms at higher levels, with major predictable effects for we humans in our position at the top of the chain. The changes being observed and recorded by Carson were an early warning of the future scenario for all life forms. As such they still stand as the first scientifically-based predictions of both real and potential harm to life from manmade chemicals.

Fifty years on and the shocking difference between then and now is that there are many thousands more manmade chemicals being produced and released into the environment than the number developed by the smaller scale post-war chemicals industry of Carson’s time. Many of these are linked to breast cancer risk such as EDCs and right now there is a battle to ensure that post-Brexit UK remains within existing EU chemicals legislation (REACH), which is regarded as the best in the world. 
Continue reading Celebrating A Visionary Citizen Scientist