Washington, DC – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today condemned Republican efforts to block debate and passage of the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act, of which Senator Clinton is an original co-sponsor. She urged her colleagues to join her in supporting this important legislation.
“This legislation will spur pioneering research into the links between environmental hazards and chronic conditions such as breast cancer. Greater federal investment in breast cancer research could hold the key to prevention or survival for millions of women across our country. This could not be a more critical issue,” Senator Clinton said. “It is outrageous that this vital life-saving effort is being held up by petty procedural politics here in the Senate. I strongly urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together to support this legislation.”
Breast Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States. Three million women in the United States are currently living with breast cancer, one million of whom have not yet been diagnosed. On average, over 13,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year in New York State, with about 3,000 annual deaths caused by this disease.
The Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act would establish Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Centers of Excellence in order to conduct collaborative research on environmental factors that are linked to breast cancer. It would also establish a panel of experts, including patient advocates, to develop a comprehensive strategy for research in this area. Senator Clinton welcomed approval of the bill by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in February. She previously called for passage of the legislation in 2007 and 2006.
Several New York universities are already engaging in innovative research in this area. In 2006, Senator Clinton visited Cornell University’s Sprecher Institute for Comparative Cancer Research and met with researchers from their program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors, who are working to translate this research to help women understand and minimize their environmentally-connected risks.
Senator Clinton has long been active in promoting increased research into links between health and the environment. In 2001, she worked with her colleagues on the Environment and Public Works Committee to hold a field hearing in Long Island on the possible links between the environment and breast cancer. She has also introduced the Coordinated Environmental Health Network Act, which would establish a nationwide tracking network to help identify connections between disease and environment, develop a response system for addressing public health threats, and expand the biomonitoring work of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.