As part of our mandate to educate and inform, several BCAM members attended the first of the City of Montreal's public hearings on a proposed pesticide by-law. Although the briefs submitted that evening covered several perspectives — including health and personal illness, prevention, wildlife and environment, and tenants' rights — there was only one that did not wholeheartedly support both the proposed by-law and the amendments suggested by CAP, as outlined in our lead article. Following is the presentation submitted by BCAM.
Submission by Breast Cancer Action Montreal to the City of Montreal, June 10th, 2003
Breast Cancer Action Montreal (BCAM), is an activist/advocacy group directed by women whose philosophy is that the focus of breast cancer must move beyond its current emphasis on treatment to also embrace a serious search for the causes of the disease and its prevention. We are committed, long-term, to eradicating the disease.
Toward the goal of improving and protecting the health of all people, we firmly believe in the implementation of the Precautionary Principle. Under this principle, evidence of harm, rather than definitive proof of harm, is the trigger for policy action. Additionally, the burden of proof with regard to chemicals lies with the manufacturers to demonstrate that the substances are safe, rather than with the public to show that they are harmful. Finally, the Precautionary Principle rests on the democratic principle that government officials are obligated to serve the public's interest in human health and environmental protection. (State of the Evidence: What Is The Connection Between Chemicals and Breast Cancer? Nancy Evans, ed., Health Science Consultant, The Breast Cancer Fund)
The environmental links between estrogen-mimicking pesticides and breast cancer should be a cause for concern for all.
There are safer alternatives which can be utilized. It is time to think about the health of ourselves, our families,and our friends. Our treatment of the environment impacts on all of us — if not today, then most assuredly in the future. The decisions we make today about controlling the use of pesticides will have ramifications for years to come. Let us be certain that the choices we make are good ones based on the welfare of all — not on financial gain for some, which might cause pain for others.
We strongly urge you to pass the pesticide by-law, including the CAP (Coalition Against Pesticides) amendments.