29 Jun 2008

Randwick Ducklings walk for Breast Cancer

Ruscombe women were among those who participated in the 10 mile night walk starting and finishing in Cirencester Park - all in aid of the Cotswold Care Hospice. Next weekend four women from Randwick, Westrip and Ruscombe are preparing to walk a half marathon in aid of the breast cancer charity Walk The Walk.

Photo: Crisp found in packet at The Vine Tree, Randwick

Emma Cunningham, a Randwick Parish councillor, her sister Kerry, Joanne Preece and Yvonne Cobb, are calling themselves the Randwick Ducklings - they will join the 2000 other walkers expected to take part in this year's 13-mile Sun Walk event at Ashton Court, Bristol on Sunday, July 6. Decorated bras and duckling outfits are apparently the order of the day. If you would like to sponsor the Randwick Ducklings, email Yvonne at info@bslcollege.co.uk or call Emma on 757 411.

Recently the European Parliament passed a resolution on combating cancer, with an overwhelming majority of Euro-MPs agreeing to amendments proposed by a Green MEP to highlight the environmental causes behind the disease. This is an issue I've covered before on this blog - and indeed written about a number of times to the local press(see for example here and here and here).

Drawing on scientific evidence showing that cancers can be caused by environmental factors including toxic chemicals found in household goods, pesticides and poor air quality, South East MEP Caroline Lucas proposed significant changes to a Parliament resolution seeking to establish an EU Cancer Task Force to fight the disease more effectively.

Caroline is quoted saying: “This landmark decision by the European Parliament means that MEPs now officially recognise that environmental causes like pollution and chemical contamination must be considered in any strategy to combat cancer. In 2006 there were nearly 2.3 million new cancer cases and over 1 million cancer deaths within the EU; most deaths were in people with lung cancer, colorectal cancer and breast cancer. And according to Greenpeace, even when you strip away causes like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and hereditary factors, environmental factors still appear to be the biggest cause of the increase in cancers seen over the past few decades."

She continued: “While cancer is caused by many factors in multiple stages, a link is increasingly being made between toxic chemicals – especially so-called gender-bending hormone-disruptors – and cancers like that of the breast, which kills more than 10,000 people each year in the UK alone. Moreover, according to a recent study by the trade unions, at least 8% of annual cancer deaths are directly caused by exposure to carcinogens at the workplace. Substituting carcinogens with less harmful substances could prevent this exposure, and a tightening of legislation would ensure that employers fully protect their workers. Links are also being found between pesticide use and cancers. Yet pesticide technologies are all growing apace, and so the EU must ensure that those which carry serious health risks are swiftly taken off the market, and accelerate moves towards chemical free agriculture – putting human health above the profits of the companies that manufacture them.”

Caroline has now called on the Commission and Council to commit to the proposed EU Cancer Task Force, and subsequently support initiatives to prevent the importing of items containing carcinogenic chemicals, and for measures to strengthen food monitoring for chemicals, including pesticides. I have to note that in the past I have been critical of many of the cancer charities to fund any research into environmental factors - that is starting to change but much more is needed.

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