Student Sustainability Collective: Public Health

Action Alert: Tell Eli Lily to Stop Pinkwashing!

Eli Lilly’s cancer drugs made $2,683,000,000 for the company in 2008. Its potentially carcinogenic dairy hormone made millions of dollars in the same year. That’s a highly lucrative profit cycle and one we call pinkwashing. We want to get rBGH out of our food supply completely, and we need your help to do it. Help keep the pressure on Eli Lilly — tell them to sign BCAction’s Pledge to Prevent Pinkwashing.
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Action Alert: Tell Eli Lily to Stop Pinkwashing!

Eli Lilly’s cancer drugs made $2,683,000,000 for the company in 2008. Its potentially carcinogenic dairy hormone made millions of dollars in the same year. That’s a highly lucrative profit cycle and one we call pinkwashing. We want to get rBGH out of our food supply completely, and we need your help to do it. Help keep the pressure on Eli Lilly — tell them to sign BCAction’s Pledge to Prevent Pinkwashing.


Free webinar - Inequities in Breast Cancer: Race and Place Matters →

Why are white women more likely to develop breast cancer, yet African Amreican, Latina and Samoan women are more likely to die from the disease? Why do women of color tend to develop more aggressive breast cancers at earlier ages than white women? Why are we seeing the sharpest rise in breast cancer rates in Japanese women in Los Angeles?

Race and ethnicity play a huge role in the answers to these questions because so often where we live, work, and play is tightly bound to our racial make-up.

Join Breast Cancer Action for a free webinar - Inequities in Breast Cancer: What’s Race Got to Do With It? The webinar will examine the racial and socio-economic factors that influence the health of individuals and communities. Sahru Keiser, BCAction Program Associate of Education and Mobilization will be presenting with Irene Yan, Associate Professor of Medicine and Experiential Learning, Health and Society Pathway from UCSF.

Register for this free one-hour webinar to learn what you can do to help achieve health equity - the highest level of health - for everyone! The webinar will be offered at two different times: Tuesday, May 15th at 2pm or Wednesday, May 16th at 11am.


Vt. on verge of historic ‘fracking’ ban →

Go Vermont!

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermont appears on the verge of enacting the nation’s first statewide ban of a hotly debated natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing.

The hydraulic fracturing process involves a high-pressure mix of water and chemicals being forced into the ground to fracture layers of shale and allow the gas to be released. Environmentalists say the chemicals are a threat to the environment and public health. They also complain that drilling companies haven’t fully disclosed what chemicals are being used.


Check out these resources provided by the Environmental Working Group

The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit specializing in providing useful resources to consumers while simultaneously pushing for national policy change. Their mission: to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment.

Here are some of the resources which the EWG has made available:

Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database

Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce

2011 Sunscreen Safety Guide: Best & Worst

National Drinking Water Database

U.S. Farm Subsidy Database


I won't walk for Komen →

Here’s the link to a letter written by Former Komen supporter and Breast Cancer Action member. The writer speaks from personal experience about the flaws of Breast Cancer Culture, and the effects of politics and corporate involvement on the struggle to end the breast cancer epidemic.

Komen’s decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood opened up my eyes to the current state of affairs in breast cancer. Too many breast cancer organizations are pinkwashers who exploit this disease to make a buck at any cost; have agendas that put politics and profits before patients; place too much emphasis on mammograms despite their demonstrated failure to reduce the death rate; and, repeatedly leave poor and underserved communities and women of color to fend for themselves.

This year, I opened my eyes and I am not going to ignore what I see. I stand firm in my decision to sever my ties with Komen for the Cure because I need to make a difference.

Click the link to read the whole thing!


Updates on Methyl Iodide, BPA, and the ACA!

Here are a few updates on some pressing public health issues:

Methyl Iodide

The fumigant Midas, or methyl iodide, is being pulled from the market! The pesticides manufacturer, Arysta LifeScience Inc., caved to the pressure of environmental activists and farmworkers adamant about the chemical’s link to cancer and pollution to air and water. The pesticide methyl iodide, most commonly used in the strawberry industry, has been recognized as a highly toxic chemical; “tests on rats and rabbits have shown that exposure to the chemical causes thyroid cancer, miscarriages and damage to the nervous system.”

Furthermore, the California Strawberry Commission and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation are together planning on researching alternatives to fumigants in a three year project that will focus on growing strawberries in “non-soil substances that are disease-free.”

FDA on Bisphenol A

Unfortunately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration did not ban bisphenol A (BPA) despite evidence linking BPA – a hormone disruptor commonly used in canned food and liquid infant containers – to breast cancer and other health problems, including reproductive defects and diabetes. The FDA’s decision was released on March 30th and was highly awaited by activists, and especially the Environmental Working Group, an organization that has been conducting studies about the presence of BPA in the actual food and drink being packaged. The EWG reports that “studies have found BPA in breast milk, saliva, urine, amniotic fluid and umbilical cord blood.”

The Affordable Care Act in the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court case on the 2010 Health-Care Reform Law – The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – was heard 26 March – 28 March. The decision will be announced in June and will determine whether or not the law is constitutional or not, and whether the entire law will be overturned. The Washington Post has made available the complete transcripts of the hearing during each of the three days it was in court last month.