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European Parliament passed important resolution on combatting cancer

Cancer Task Force will be established in European Parliament which will look into environmental causes which may be linked to breastcancer

11.04.2008 |ENDS Europe




ENDS 11 April 2008 - The European Parliament has passed an important resolutionon 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.

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 said: "This landmark decision by the European Parliament means that MEPs now officially recognise that the 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 U; most deaths were in people with lung cancer, colorectal cancer and breast cancer. And according to Greenpeace, when you strip away causes like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, together with hereditary factors, environmental factors still appear to be the biggest cause of the increase in cancers seen over the past few decades.

"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. "Similarly links are being found between pesticide use and cancers. Yet pesticide technologies are all growing apace, and so the EU must ensure that those with 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 calls on the Commission and Council to commit to the proposed EU Cancer Task Force, and subsequently support initiatives to prevent theimporting of items containing carcinogenic chemicals, and for measures to strengthen food monitoring for chemicals, including pesticides.


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