Reclaiming the future of food and farming

cancer

Judy Hatcher's picture

It's high time to 'rethink pink'

Another October is passing, in a rosy fog of marketing and special events meant to raise awareness about breast cancer. Everyone from the National Football League to fast-food franchises is cheerfully urging us to walk, run and shop to find a cure for a disease that now affects one in eight women in the U.S.

The attention is certainly warranted. But a growing chorus of commentators is now urging us to "rethink pink." What should we do instead? I’d say let’s put more energy into doing what we can to reduce our exposure to carcinogenic chemicals. Seems like pure common sense.

Judy Hatcher
Kathryn Gilje's picture

Pink should mean prevention

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
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Kristin Schafer's picture

Kids' health researchers talk turkey

At an all-day seminar last week, I listened to university researchers discuss this startling question: Are we poisoning our children?

Quite a provocative topic — some might even say alarmist. Yet scientist after scientist got up to the podium and presented hard data linking pesticides and other chemicals to learning disabilities, asthma, early puberty, childhood cancer and more.

Kristin Schafer
Pesticide Action Network's picture

Panel finds EPA lowballing atrazine/cancer link

Atrazine is in the news yet again, as a panel of independent scientists call into question EPA's conclusion that the widely used herbicide is "not likely to be a human carcinogen."

For several specific cancers — including ovarian, thyroid and non-Hodgkins lymphoma — there is clear "suggestive evidence" linking atrazine exposure to increased cancer risk, according to a recently released report. Citing these and other new findings, thousands of concerned citizens across the country are calling on EPA to follow the science, and discount misleading science sponsored by atrazine's maker, the Syngenta corporation.

Pesticide Actio...
Kristin Schafer's picture

Pink ribbons for prevention: It's time.

We've come through yet another pink-ribboned October. It's hard to miss the symbol of breast cancer awareness, it's on everything from perfume packaging to baby bottles to fast food takeout cups.

The thing is, I'm pretty sure we don't need reminding that breast cancer's a problem. If you haven't gone through the battle yourself, odds are you've supported someone — friend, sister, mother, daughter, partner — who has. We're plenty aware. Now it's time to make October's pink ribbons all about what we can do to prevent this devastating disease.

Kristin Schafer
Pesticide Action Network's picture

Drifting pesticides linked to prostate cancer

Men who live in neighborhoods that experience pesticide drift are 1.5 times more likely to develop prostate cancer.

This is what scientists found in a one-of-a-kind study that compares rates of the cancer among men who lived near agricultural fields where methyl bromide, captan or organochlorine insecticides were applied with those who lived farther from drifting pesticides.

Pesticide Actio...
Pesticide Action Network's picture

PAN joins UFW on 200 mile march for fairness

Yesterday, PAN joined United Farm Workers (UFW) for part of their 13-day, 200-mile pilgrimage to Sacramento, demanding fair policies for farmworkers.

About 20 people affliliated with PAN, including Co-Director Kathryn Gilje, joined the march for workers' rights yesterday morning on a stretch of highway between Lodi and Galt. "Peak fumigation season in California's strawberry fields is just a few weeks away," she said. "Governor Brown should follow the science, ensure fair treatment for farmworkers and take immediate steps to pull methyl iodide off the shelves."

Pesticide Actio...
Kathryn Gilje's picture

Report back on cancer - bringing your sigs inside the White House

Cancer. Ironically and tragically, as I’ve experienced more and more cancer in the lives around me, I’ve begun to harden myself to its consequences. I expect it someday. I accept cancer as an inevitable part of life that we must battle and do our best to survive. I’ve even watched myself teach this to young ones as I attempt to soothe their fear. Despite my best intentions, I’m normalizing cancer.

But this much cancer — and the pain, fear, and enormous cost that accompanies it — doesn't have to be a normal part of life. Cancer used to be exceedingly rare. And we should just never be in a position of trying to make sense of rising rates of childhood cancer. Period.

Kathryn Gilje
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Kristin Schafer's picture

Kids' cancer rates still climbing

Last week a friend posted a slideshow of her niece on facebook. The girl's father had written a song to accompany the photos of his daughter's battle with leukemia. It made me cry.

The fact that a 5-year-old girl should have to summon such courage takes me quickly from tears to anger. Children should not be battling cancer, yet more and more are forced to do exactly that. A report released last week confirmed that childhood cancer rates are higher than ever before, and continue to climb. 

Kristin Schafer

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