Our policy submissions

Our interaction with decision-makers 

We submit evidence and offer informed opinions to decision-makers on actions they can take to support the primary prevention of breast cancer. We regularly input into public consultations and provide feedback on draft legislation and regulations published by the UK Government, public health bodies, and regulators.

Breast Cancer UK is a member of the UK Chemicals Stakeholder Forum, set up by the Government to inform UK Chemicals Policy. We are also an accredited stakeholder within the Health & Safety Executive (The UK Chemicals regulator).

Our submissions, letters, and joint initiatives can be found below.

Breast Cancer UK Response to DEFRA Project to Improve UK REACH, July 2022.

UK Government officials from Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the UK devolved governments have launched a project to improve how these new regulations work in practice. Breast Cancer UK alongside other concerning health and environmental organisations have contributed to this project by renewing our 12 key asks for the UK Chemicals strategy. Other key improvements we urge the government to make include banning EDCs in consumer products when they are identified and phasing out the use of animal testing. See our full response to the Project to Improve UK REACH.

Joint Letter to DEFRA Chemicals Minister Jo Churchill MP on UK Chemicals Strategy, April 2022.

Breast Cancer UK, CHEM Trust, Women’s Environment Network, Alliance for Cancer Prevention and Green Alliance, wrote to Jo Churchill MP to highlight the links between endocrine disrupting chemicals and breast cancer and outline why the UK Chemicals Strategy must deliver an urgent action plan to phase EDCs in everyday products and our environment.

Submission to the Department of Health’s call to evidence on the 10-year cancer plan for England, March 2022.

Breast Cancer UK provided written evidence to support the development of a new 10-year cancer strategy. We called for an explicit commitment toward the primary prevention of cancer, with measures to enhance education on prevention, strengthen research into the environmental causes of cancer and deliver ambitious policy interventions to address the impact of harmful chemicals on the nation’s health to reduce breast cancer risk.

Open letter to Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg MP calling for the UK to remain a world leader in public health and environmental protection, February 2022.

Breast Cancer UK signed an open letter authored by Unchecked UK calling for the UK to remain a vanguard for strong public protections and common-sense regulations post-Brexit.

Joint statement with Health and Environmental NGOs calling for urgent action to address the public health and environmental impacts of PFAS pollution, February 2022.

We signed a joint statement with CHEM Trust, Fidra, ScotLink, Marine Conservation Society, and Wildlife and Countryside Link to call for urgent action by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to address PFAS pollution in the UK by restricting its production and use by 2025.

Breast Cancer UK submission to the Health & Safety Executive consultation on Regulatory Options for the Management of Per and Polyfluoroalkul substances (PFAS), January 2022

In our submission, we called on the UK Government as part of the UK REACH restriction programme to deliver comprehensive legislation to restrict and phase out the unnecessary use of PFAS in consumer products given their association with breast cancer and impacts on public health.

Joint Letter to Environment Secretary George Eustice on proposed changes to identifying substances of very high concern, January 2022

Breast Cancer UK joined with Public Health and Environmental NGOs to raise serious concerns over the Government’s proposed changes for identifying substances of very high concern. In December 2021, DEFRA announced new ‘interim principles’ that weaken requirements for companies to submit data on harmful chemicals in products and risk undermining the consumers’ right to know. We are calling on DEFRA to align with the EU to ensure necessary access to safety data on chemicals used in products.

Breast Cancer UK Policy Paper on the forthcoming UK Chemicals Strategy, November 2021

We submitted our policy paper to DEFRA on the UK Chemicals Strategy. The strategy represents a welcome opportunity to minimise the adverse impacts of exposure to harmful chemicals on the nation’s health. We are calling on the strategy to strengthen the regulation of harmful chemicals, phase out their use in consumer products and give public health bodies responsibilities to research and regulate the health impacts of harmful chemicals to support breast cancer prevention.

Letter to DEFRA Minister Jo Churchill MP, November 2021.

We wrote to Jo Churchill MP following her appointment as DEFRA Minister responsible for chemicals and waste management to introduce her to our work and call for urgent action to reduce public exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and carcinogens as part of the forthcoming UK Chemicals Strategy.

Presentation to UK Chemicals Stakeholder Forum, October 2021.

Our Public Affairs Officer Kit Bowerin joined our friends at CHEM Trust and Fidra to present our 12 key asks for the UK Chemicals Strategy to industry, NGO, and Government representatives at the UK Chemicals Stakeholder Forum. We called on DEFRA to use the strategy to strengthen public protection from harmful chemicals linked to breast cancer and other public health conditions.

Letter to Public Health Minister Maggie Throup MP, September 2021.

We wrote to Maggie Throup MP following her appointment as Public Health Minister to introduce her to our work and to call for urgent action to put the primary prevention of breast cancer at the heart of public health and cancer plans.

Joint letter to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on Home Office review into the use of animals in medical research, August 2021.

Breast Cancer UK joined NGOs and scientists in signing a joint letter led by Animal Free Research UK to the Prime Minister and senior ministers calling on the Government to deliver an action plan as part of the Home Office review to phase out animal experiments and phase in a modern, high-tech, human-specific approach to medical research.

Joint letter to UK Health Security Agency Chief Executive Dr Jenny Harris on the responsibilities of the new agency to monitor, research and regulate the effects of harmful chemicals on the nation’s health, July 2021

Breast Cancer UK developed a joint letter to call for the new body to give urgent attention to policy measures that minimise or reduce public exposure to harmful chemicals. The UK Health Security Agency will take over the responsibilities of Public Health England and will be fully operational in October 2021.

Joint Letter to Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, on the responsibilities of the new Office for Health Promotion to support the prevention of ill-health, July 2021

Breast Cancer UK developed a joint letter with Public Health & Environmental organisations to call for the new Office for Health Promotion to address the environmental and occupational drivers of disease as part of its remit before it comes into force in October 2021.

Joint Policy Paper to DEFRA on the forthcoming UK Chemicals Strategy, May 2021

Breast Cancer UK joined Public Health and Environmental NGOs to submit 12 key asks to DEFRA calling for the forthcoming UK chemicals strategy to strengthen protections for UK citizens and the environment from harmful chemicals.

Joint Letter to UK Environment Minister highlighting our key calls to action for the UK Chemicals Strategy, May 2021

Breast Cancer UK joined NGOs including CHEM Trust, Green Alliance, and the Alliance for Cancer Prevention to call on DEFRA to use the forthcoming UK Chemicals Strategy as an opportunity to maintain and enhance public health and environmental protection from harmful chemicals.

Joint letter to Secretaries of State calling on the Government to resist calls to deregulate the UK Chemicals Regime, March 2021.

Breast Cancer UK joined public health and environmental groups to outline concerns about industry attempts to deregulate the UK Chemicals regime (UK REACH) and call on the Government to live up to its commitments to maintain and enhance public health and environmental protection from harmful chemicals.

Submission to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the National Action Plan for Pesticides, February 2021.

We responded to the Draft National Action Plan for Pesticides calling on the Government to introduce ambitious pesticide reduction targets and to give public health bodies direct responsibilities to monitor and recommend restrictions on substances of concern to protect the nation’s health.

Joint letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling on the Government to give Parliament a clear say on future trading arrangements, January 2021.

Breast Cancer UK joined NGOs including Greener UK, Client Earth, CHEM Trust, and businesses in calling on the Government to ensure that arrangements are in place to ensure the effective scrutiny of future trade deals and for the UK to show global leadership in putting public health and environmental protections at the heart of its independent trade policy.

Breast Cancer UK calls to action for the UK National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides, January 2021.

Breast Cancer UK joined the Pesticide Action Network and other public health and environmental NGOs to call for the introduction of stringent targets as part of the UK National Action Plan to address the human health impacts of exposure to pesticides.

View our past submissions.


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