SEHN

Visionary Science, Ethics, Law and Action in the Public Interest

Summer @ SEHN

  June/July 2013
The Networker

Dear Friend,

Mobile Grassroots Think Tank, Ted Schettler’s Breast Cancer Report, the Civil Rights Movement for Future Generations, and much more! As the weather heats up this summer, the Science & Environmental Health Network is keeping busy – in the field, at conferences and international events, and with communities fighting against fracking, mining, and climate change.

We have many exciting projects planned for the next few months, including the announcement of our Mobil Think Tank Grassroots Tour. I’m planning to visit community groups in the Mid-West, learning from them directly about the challenges they face around fracking, the solutions they’re developing to protect the environment and public health, and how SEHN’s “solution ideas” might be useful in their struggles.

Ted Schettler, SEHN’s Science Director, will be releasing a ground-breaking report on how to prevent and treat breast cancer. The Ecology of Breast Cancer outlines personal and societal actions to prevent the disease, and examines the science behind the best alternative therapies after diagnosis, as a complement to conventional medicine.

We’re continuing to plan for the Second Women’s Congress for Future Generations in Minneapolis, MN in September 2014. If you’d like more information about the Congress or want to get involved, please emailmoreinfo [at] sehn [dot] org.

And we’ll be unveiling a new version of the SEHN website, which will be more interactive and easier to use!

We also honor the passing of Senator Frank Lautenberg, a tireless champion for public health. We will miss his commitment to protecting natural resources, public health, and Future Generations. Thank you Sen. Lautenberg, your legacy lives on.

All the best,

Carolyn Raffensperger

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Telling the Truth: Why Environmentalists Can’t Be OptimistsSEHN Executive Director Carolyn Raffensperger describes why environmentalists can’t be optimists and that we need to tell the truth about the trouble we’re facing as a result of endocrine disruptors, rising carbon dioxide levels, and the acidification of the ocean.
Good Governance for People and the PlanetIn this article, Carolyn Raffensperger highlights 12 premises of good governance that are key to making a smooth transition to the future and inhabiting that future well. Six identify the problems and six propose a way forward.
5 Food and Agriculture Books SEHN is Reading this Summer1. Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan
Pollan says that the “single most important thing [to] do as a family to improve our health and well-being” is cooking. His book explores the beauty and simplicity of preparing food, and will help readers get off the couch and into the kitchen.2. The Backyard Homestead: Produce All the Food You Need On Just a Quarter Acre! edited by Carleen Madigan
The Backyard Homestead tells would-be farmers how to farm on just a quarter of an acre.3. Bet the Farm: How Food Stopped Being Food by Frederick Kaufman
Bet the Farm starts with an unnerving statistic: in 2008, “farmers produced more grain than ever, enough to feed twice as many people as were on Earth. In the same year… a billion people went hungry.” Kaufman delves into the problems with the food system and uncovers the financial underpinnings that motivate this dysfunctional system.4. Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America by Wenonah Hauter
Hauter, the founder of Food and Water Watch explores the “corporate, scientific, industrial, and political” aspects of the food system in an effort to understand the problems with mainstream production and distribution systems, and how to fix them in order to incorporate healthy, mindful eating.5. Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss
Moss pulls back the curtain on the United States food industry to reveal the connection between the national trend of obesity and the history of processed food. He reveals a concerted effort on behalf of major food corporations to incorporate salt, sugar, and fat – additives that are addictive and harmful to consumers – into foods. 
Precaution ReporterIn May, the late Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg and Republican David Vitter (R-LA) introduced a bipartisan bill in Congress to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). TSCA has not been updated since 1976 and doesn’t protect public health from toxins including phthalates, lead, BPA, flame retardants, and other chemicals. But the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013 (S.1009), which is backed by industry, is not without controversy and many environmental and public health groups don’t think it will do enough to protect consumers from toxic chemicals.Here are some good resources for understanding more about TSCA Reform:

  • The Environmental Defense Fund has produced a side-by-side comparison of the Safe Chemicals Act and the Chemical Safety Improvement Act.
  • The Safer Chemicals Healthy Families website provides resources for consumers to better understand how safer chemical legislation will impact their communities.
  • The Collaborative on Health and the Environment has important resources for learning more about toxins and chemical policies.
Upcoming Events
National and International Perspectives on Nutrition, Food, Food Security, and Agricultural Systems: Reconnecting the Personal, Public, and Environmental HealthThursday June 27 at 10:00 am Pacific / 1:00 pm EasternTed Schettler, MD, Science Director at the Science and Environmental Health Network (SEHN) as well as at CHE, will discuss long-term cumulative impacts of inadequate diet, nutrition, and lack of access to healthy food. Danielle Nierenberg, SEHN Communications Consultant and Co-Founder of Food Tank: The Food Think Tank, will give a general global overview of a variety of food and food policy issues including: hunger, malnutrition, stunting, micronutrient deficiencies, and obesity. She will also discuss the impact of climate change and food price volatility.Both will address the need for fundamental changes in the agricultural system(s) that dominate throughout much of the world not only to address current needs, but also those of future generations.Following the presentations there will be time for discussion.You can RSVP, receive dial-in instructions, and learn more about our speakers on the call’s webpage.World Future Program Global Conference on Implementing Intergenerational Equity: Bringing Future Perspectives to the Status Quo, July 4th Geneva, SwitzerlandCarolyn Raffensperger will participate in at the Global Conference on Implementing Intergenerational Equity: Bringing Future Perspectives to the Status Quo in Geneva on July 4th, 2013.For more information click HERE


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Do you feel called to stand for Future Generations? Do you believe the health of our bodies is intimately tied to the health of our communities, ecosystems, and our political systems? Join with SEHN and become part of our community working for lasting, systemic change. Your gift is vital to continuing this work, and we are so grateful for your support.