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President's Cancer Panel Calls for Fundamental Shift in Chemicals Policy

Statement From Breast Cancer Fund CEO Jeanne Rizzo

CONTACT: Shannon Coughlin, (415) 346-8223 x14,

SAN FRANCISCO—Today the President's Cancer Panel, which reports directly to President Obama and informs the agenda of the National Cancer Program, issued a watershed report, Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now. Here is a statement from Jeanne Rizzo, R.N., CEO of the Breast Cancer Fund, the leading non-profit organization working to eliminate the environmental causes of breast cancer:

After 40 years of war on cancer, today's report by the President’s Cancer Panel may finally signal a fundamental shift toward a winning strategy.

The Panel levels a hefty critique of failed regulation of environmental contaminants, undue industry influence, and inadequate research and funding. It also says that the government—and institutions that advise the government—have been locked in a cancer-fighting paradigm that has failed to look at the complexity of cancer causation and, in so doing, have missed the opportunity to create a national campaign for cancer prevention.

Release of this report is a historic opportunity to change the course of the war on cancer so that, in the face of the large and growing body of scientific evidence linking cancer to environmental contaminants, we act now rather than wait for more evidence of harm. This report says, in no uncertain terms, that the public needs to be protected from toxic chemicals—that we must execute a major cancer prevention strategy that protects people from what causes cancer.

The report should serve as a catalyst for sweeping reform of federal policy on both cancer and industrial toxins. There are immediate implications for chemical regulation legislation moving through Congress right now, including efforts to restrict bisphenol A (BPA) in food packaging and to reform the broken Toxic Substances Control Act, both efforts supported by the Breast Cancer Fund.

It is now up to the President, to Congress and to the federal agencies who are responsible for public health to accept the truth in this report and carry out the revolution it calls for.

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The Breast Cancer Fund is the leading national organization working to identify and eliminate the environmental causes of breast cancer.