What would it take to wean our economy off its dependency on carcinogenic chemicals? At the “Toward’s a Cancer Free Economy” Forum on June 23rd, leading environmental, social, and community groups, including the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition debated this question. MBCC Executive Director Cheryl Osimo was asked to speak alongside Dr. Richard Clapp, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production and Scientist of the Year, along with Chuck Collins, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies. The event was sponsored by GreenCAPE, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production (UMass/Lowell), Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, the Sierra Club – Cape Cod and Islands Group, Toxics Action Center, and Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow.
The community forum discussed strategies for building a cancer-free economy on a local level. The forum featured health activists from GreenCAPE and Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition as well as experts from the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production (University of Massachusetts Lowell) which incorporates toxics use reduction into Massachusetts businesses to make them sustainable for workers, residents and the businesses themselves. The forum provided information on the most recent science on the role of chemical carcinogens in the onset of cancer, economic transition strategies and outcomes from the “Cancer-Free Jamaica Plain Economy” experience, and a facilitated community discussion to identify needs and opportunities in Falmouth and other towns on Cape Cod to shift economic activity away from carcinogens and towards safer alternatives and practices.
Dr. Richard Clapp of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production has spent many years trying to pinpoint the environmental factors that cause cancer and other disease and was a major force in shaping the recently released report of the President’s Cancer Panel. The panel concluded that the effect of cancer-causing toxins in the environment has been grossly underestimated. Dr. Clapp spent much of the last three decades exploring and discovering the landscape of environmental and occupational cancer, visibly and effectively publicizing what he and others found. He was the first director of the Massachusetts Cancer Registry and he helped make it one of the best in the nation.
Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies where he directs the program on Inequality and the Common Good (www.inequality.org). He is co-founder of Jamaica Plain NewEconomy Transition (www.jptransition.org) which is partnering with the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production on the JP Cancer FreeEconomy Initiative.
Panelists at the Event: (L to R) David Dow (Sierra Club), Sue Phelan (GreenCape), Carlos Espinza-Toro (Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition), Rev. Murphy (Chair of the Cape Cod and Islands Sierra Club), Cheryl Osimo (Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition and Silent Spring Institute), Dr. Richard Clapp (Lowell Center for Sustainable Production), Claire B.W. Miller (Toxic Action Center).
Click below for the full video of the June 23rd Toward’s a Cancer Free Economy event, including the speeches from Clare Miller (Toxics Action Center), Dr. Richard Clapp ( Lowell Center for Sustainable Production), Chuck Collins (Institute for Policy Studies), Sue Phelan (Green Cape), and Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition Executive Director, Cheryl Osimo.