Honoring Silent Spring Institute
Raising Awareness of Breast Cancer PREVENTIONLetter to the NewtonTAB September 22, 2014
Ellie Goldberg, Newton, MA
“For those in whom cancer is already a hidden or visible presence, efforts to find cures must of course continue. But for those not yet touched by the disease and certainly for the generations as yet unborn, prevention is the imperative need.”
– Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
Rachel Carson Was Right. In her book, Silent Spring (1962), Carson alerted the world to the hazards of pesticides and synthetic chemicals. Rachel Carson taught us that our health is intimately connected to the health of our environment and that “we tolerate cancer causing agents in our environment at our peril.” Carson inspired citizens around the world to get involved in both personal and public policy changes to protect our water, food and air from contamination.
Twenty years ago, as the incidence of breast cancer continued to rise, many people in Massachusetts were frustrated that the breast cancer research establishment focused so heavily on treatment and ignored the risks associated with toxic chemicals in our water, air, food and the products we use everyday.
In response, an alliance of scientists and activists founded Silent Spring Institute (SSI) to focus research on prevention. The goal was to protect and improve women’s health by identifying the links between the environment and women’s health, especially breast cancer.
In 2014, Silent Spring Institute celebrates its twentieth anniversary. SSI is now a national leader in cutting edge research into preventable causes of breast cancer. SSI’s scientists influence our national cancer research and public policy agenda. See details of SSI’s pioneering work at http://www.silentspring.org/our-research.
As a proud board member of Newton’s Silent Spring Institute, I invite you to join us at SSI’s 20th Anniversary Dinner, October 20 at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge. Special guests will be Pulitzer Prize-winning NYTimes journalist Nicholas Kristof and Florence Williams, author of Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History. Ellen Parker, Co-founder and former Board Chair of Silent Spring Institute, will receive the annual Rachel Carson Award.
I know that others share my vision that true prevention is the most effective and ethical way to turn the tide of the cancer epidemic. Supporting Silent Spring Institute’s pioneering research to uncover—and break—the environmental links to breast cancer is our most genuine source of hope.