Kathryn Gilje's blog

Kathryn Gilje's blog
By Kathryn Gilje,

A critical and devastating new study confirms a link between certain work — farming and vegetable canning included — and an elevated risk of breast cancer. The research was conducted in southern Ontario, and for me, this news hits close to home.

I was raised in Minnesota, and lived on a small farm just fifteen miles from a vegetable canning factory. When reading this study, I immediately thought of Lily, a young woman diagnosed with breast cancer in her late twenties. She and her mother Lidia spent over a decade working in the vegetable canning factory after coming to Minnesota as migrant farmworkers. I vividly remember the desperation and grief in Lidia's voice when she told me the news of Lily's cancer.

Kathryn Gilje's blog
By Kathryn Gilje,

In March, we stopped the pesticide industry from pushing a cancer-causing chemical into California strawberry fields. Together, we won an incredible victory when Arysta LifeScience — maker of methyl iodide — pulled its hazardous product off the U.S. market.

Now, we turn to "what's next," the important work of ensuring that strawberries truly get off the pesticide treadmill.

Kathryn Gilje's blog
By Kathryn Gilje,

Cancer has taken much too big a toll on my life this year to write this blog with anything but intense urgency, fueled by deep sorrow. The lives of our dear friends, our daughters, our brothers and others are all at stake.

Breast cancer is caused by multiple factors. Scientists don't doubt that exposure to toxic chemicals is part of that causation mix, with carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting compounds — including many pesticides — key among the nasties. Though Breast Cancer Awareness month came to an official close yesterday, we continue the critical work of halting this devastating disease.

Kathryn Gilje's blog
By Kathryn Gilje,

This is a global Week of Food Action, and as part of the push, a broad alliance of Christians from around the world has released a set of recommendations for ending world hunger. 

Despite best attempts by the chemical industry to use "feeding the world" as moral justification to sell pesticides and proprietary, genetically engineered (GE) seeds to farmers worldwide, members of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance are calling instead for food and farming systems that embody Christian values of fairness, care for creation and sustenance for generations. Rather than pesticides and GE seeds, this global network of Christians calls for investment in agroecology. Why? Because it works.

Kathryn Gilje's blog
By Kathryn Gilje,

This week, PAN International is gathered with governments from across the globe in Nairobi, Kenya, pushing assertive and fair action on chemicals. Our goal: protect the health and well-being of our families and ecosystems the world over.

The auspices for the gathering: it's time to check progress on the Strategic Approach to Integrated Chemicals Management (better known as SAICM), an agreed-upon global plan of action to reduce to a minimum the harm chemicals wreak on health and ecosystems by 2020.