Category Archives: Women’s Health

and another thing… more about breast cancer

A couple of weeks ago, we spent our hour exploring the Politics of Breast Cancer (you can find the audio further down the page, under the heading ‘Think Pink’. The main question driving the episode is why environmental and occupational causes of breast cancer are rarely brought up in the mainstream activism around cancer. According to David Christiani “…the most valuable approaches to reducing cancer morbidity and mortality lie in primary prevention – avoiding the introduction of carcinogenic agents into the environment and eliminating exposure to carcinogenic agents that are already there” (New England Journal of Medicine, 2011). But stopping or reducing occupational exposures to carcinogens and eliminating toxins from the air, water and products around us is fundamentally a social justice issue. Spending money on employee’s safety and making products safer cuts into corporate profits.

We start off with an interview with Joy, a breast cancer “survivor” (although she finds the term problematic for reasons she discusses). Joy did not have the typical risk factors people associate with breast cancer. She had no family history, exercised regularly and ate well. So why did she get cancer? Joy discusses why she would like to see more of a focus on the environmental causes of breast cancer.

Next we interview Karuna Jaggar, the executive director of Breast Cancer Action (http://bcaction.org/). Breast Cancer Action is a national organization in the United States that calls for the elimination of environmental toxins that cause cancer and accountability for the corporate-driven pink ribbon campaign in their “Think Before You Pink” campaign. Karuna discusses how the pink ribbon is not regulated and criticizes corporate “pink washing” where a company tries to divert attention from their toxic products by branding them with the pink ribbon. Other questions she encourages people to inquire about are how much money actually goes to breast cancer. Overall, we conclude that in order to truly fight the breast cancer epidemic, stronger environmental laws and regulations are urgently needed.

In case you’re interested, here’s an organization with information about everyday products that cause cancer http://www.preventcancer.com/. Although individual consumer choice alone is inadequate and is often unfeasible, it’s nice that some researchers and community members are trying to provide us with some evidence-based information about how to protect ourselves.

Think before you Pink: the politics of breast cancer | rabble.ca

Think before you Pink: the politics of breast cancer | rabble.ca.

In this episode of People’s Health Radio, we explore the Politics of Breast Cancer. The main question driving this episode is why environmental and occupational causes of breast cancer are rarely brought up in the mainstream activism around cancer. According to David Christiani “…the most valuable approaches to reducing cancer morbidity and mortality lie in primary prevention – avoiding the introduction of carcinogenic agents into the environment and eliminating exposure to carcinogenic agents that are already there” (New England Journal of Medicine, 2011). But stopping or reducing occupational exposures to carcinogens and eliminating toxins from the air, water and products around us is fundamentally a social justice issue. Spending money on employee’s safety and making products safer cuts into corporate profits.

We start off with an interview with Joy, a breast cancer “survivor” (although she finds the term problematic for reasons she discusses). Joy did not have the typical risk factors people associate with breast cancer. She had no family history, exercised regularly and ate well. So why did she get cancer? Joy discusses why she would like to see more of a focus on the environmental causes of breast cancer.

Next we interview Karuna Jaggar, the executive director of Breast Cancer Action (http://bcaction.org/). Breast Cancer Action is a national organization in the United States that calls for the elimination of environmental toxins that cause cancer and accountability for the corporate-driven pink ribbon campaign in their “Think Before You Pink” campaign. Karuna discusses how the pink ribbon is not regulated and criticizes corporate “pink washing” where a company tries to divert attention from their toxic products by branding them with the pink ribbon. Other questions she encourages people to inquire about are how much money actually goes to breast cancer. Overall, we conclude that in order to truly fight the breast cancer epidemic, stronger environmental laws and regulations are urgently needed.

In case you’re interested, here’s an organization with information about everyday products that cause cancer http://www.preventcancer.com/. Although individual consumer choice alone is inadequate and is often unfeasible, it’s nice that some researchers and community members are trying to provide us with some evidence-based information about how to protect ourselves.

Music: Keep going, by Invincible and Occupying Army by Vanessa Richards

Nine Month Blues: A look at women’s reproductive rights in Canada | rabble.ca

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: Nine Month Blues: A look at women’s reproductive rights in Canada | rabble.ca.

From birth control, to abortion, to access to information and education, what’s happening with sexual health for women in Canada?

We talk to Greg Smith (Executive Director of https://www.optionsforsexualhealth.org/) and Joyce Arthur (Executive Director of the Abortion rights Coalition Of Canada – http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/home.html) about the lay of the land for women’s reproductive rights in Canada.  We also include audio from the audio documentary “The Women Are Coming” about the Abortion Caravan to fight for women’s right too access free and legal abortion.

Music by Peggy Seeger, the Gruff, Ani Difranco, the Great Lake Swimmers and Nellie McKay.

The title of this podcast is borrowed from the Peggy Seeger song “9 Month Blues”.

The Impact of Radiation on People’s Health | rabble.ca

CLICK to listen to: The Impact of Radiation on People’s Health | rabble.ca.

As the disaster in Japan continues to worsen, we take a look at the impact of radiation and nuclear energy on people’s health.  We talk to Glenn Alcalay about the history of US nuclear testing on the Marshall Islands, and we also talk to Dr. Dale Dewar of Physicians for Global Survival about nuclear energy in Canada and why Physicians for Global Survival have taken a stand against nuclear proliferation for the good of all humanity.

For more information about Physicians for Global Survival check out http://pgs.ca

and for more information about the research done by Glenn Alcalay on the nuclear testing perpetrated by the US on the Marshall Islands check out: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/03/12-5
http://www.counterpunch.org/alcalay03292011.html

The Politics of Breastfeeding | rabble.ca

Click here to listen to our latest show: The Politics of Breastfeeding on rabble.ca.

What happens to the health of moms and babies when infant feeding is commodified?

Tune in this week to People’s Health Radio where we discuss the commodification of infant feeding and the politics of breastfeeding in Canada, featuring interviews with:

Elisabeth Sterken, National Director, INFACT Canada (Infant Feeding Action Coalition)

Frances Jones, Lactation Consultant, Program Coordinator Lactation Services, BC Women’s and Children’s Hospitals, and Coordinator of the BC Women’s Milk Bank

Anne Simmonds, RN, PhD, Perinatal Nurse Consultant, Reproductive Care Program of Nova Scotia

It is estimated that 1.5 million babies die each year due to inappropriate feeding practices, while millions more suffer from malnutrition related to improperly mixed formula.  In the United States and Canada, as the production and marketing of pharmaceutical infant formulas to health care providers, hospitals, and mothers rapidly expanded, breastfeeding rates dropped to all-time lows, in some areas of Canada reaching as low as 20% in the 1970s and 1980s, and even lower by 6 months of age. With the commercialization of infant feeding, breastfeeding was no longer the norm, and the health of our babies and mothers was sacrificed on the altar of corporate profits.

In 1979 the World Health Organization, in partnership with UNICEF, drafted the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, which was subsequently passed at the 1981 International Health Assembly. This Code bans the promotion of bottle feeding and sets out labeling requirements for commercial infant feeding products with the aim of restricting the unnecessary use of formula; the Canadian Government endorsed the Code, but failed to adequately enforce it in the face of industry lobbying and opposition.

Opening a ‘second front’ in the struggle to protect and promote breastfeeding, the Baby-Friendly Initiative was launched by WHO and UNICEF in the early 1990’s to impact infant feeding at the level of health services. The initiative is a global effort to implement practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding by accrediting maternity and community health-care facilities and higher education institutions that have passed an external assessment. In Canada, BC Women’s Hospital is the largest designated Baby-Friendly tertiary care centre.

And what is gained by the pharmaceutical and baby food industries at the expense of our babies and mothers?  In 2005 the estimated world market for formula was 7.9 billion dollars. In 2009, Nestle Corporation, makers of Good Start formula, earned over 200 million from the sales of infant milks alone!

Join People’s Health Radio for an engaging conversation on the shocking politics of breastfeeding!

LINKS

Breastfeeding support and education

La Leche League Canada: www.lllc.ca/

BC Women’s Hospital Breastfeeding Services: www.bcwomens.ca/Services/PregnancyBirthNewborns/HospitalCare/Breastfeeding.htm

Breastfeeding On-line, featuring Dr. Jack Newman: www.breastfeedingonline.com

Finding a Breastfeeding Support Person: http://www.drjacknewman.com/help/Finding%20A%20Breastfeeding%20Support%20Person.asp

Latching Videos: http://www.drjacknewman.com/video-clips.asp

INFACT Canada “Risks of Formula Feeding”: http://www.infactcanada.ca/RisksofFormulaFeeding.pdf

BC Baby Friendly Resources: http://www.bcbabyfriendly.ca/resources.html

Breastfeeding Action

INFACT Canada, “Take Action!”: http://www.infactcanada.ca/Take_Action.htm

Protect Breastfeeding Petition: http://protectbreastfeedingpetition.ca/

INFACT Canada “Out of the Mouths of Babes: How Canada’s Infant Food industry defies world health organization rules and puts infant health at risk”: http://www.infactcanada.ca/200D.PDF

The International Baby-Food Action Network (IBFAN): www.ibfan.org

The health impacts of fat oppression and the diet industry | rabble.ca

The health impacts of fat oppression and the diet industry | rabble.ca

Jen and Aiyanas talk about the health impacts of fat oppression and the diet industry with writer and blogger Lesley Kinzel (twowholecakes.com) and Vancouver Activist Kalamity (of Fat Panic!).

Music by the Gossip, the Coup, Queen Latifah, Old Man Luedecke, and Po’Girl.

 

In Sickness and in Health: Women’s health in marriage | rabble.ca

In Sickness and in Health: Women’s health in married relationships | rabble.ca