The 2012 Breast Cancer Action Mandate for Government Action

Breast Cancer Action has created the mandate below calling on elected officials to take real action on breast cancer via strong regulation and independent research. Click here to ask your elected officials to endorse the mandate. 

As an elected official deeply concerned about the devastating personal effect and public health impact of breast cancer in my community, I recognize and accept government’s unique and essential role in addressing and ending the breast cancer epidemic.

I commit to use my power in public office to represent the interests of my constituents living with and at risk of breast cancer by promoting legislation and public policy solutions that move beyond the limitations of screening and awareness to fully address and end this epidemic.

I commit to:
I. Initiate and support independent, government-funded research in areas that complement and supplement gaps left by industry-funded research. Areas of focus include and are not limited to:

  • Causes of breast cancer, including involuntary environmental and chemical risk factors outside an individual’s direct control;
  • New treatments that may be deemed to have insufficient profit potential according to pharmaceutical and biotech criteria, but which are potentially more effective, less toxic, or cost less for patients. Specific examples include prevention of and better treatments for metastasis, and clinical trials of promising alternative and complementary therapies; 
  • Eliminating inequities by identifying strategies to address the root causes of persistent health disparities that are not solved through access to health care alone;
  • Inclusion of breast cancer advocates, especially members of under-served communities, in designing and implementing research agendas;
  • Sufficient funding to disseminate and implement research findings so that relevant results get in the hands of breast cancer activists across diverse communities.

II. Protect public health through strong regulation in order to reduce exposure to known and suspected health harms from environmental and chemical sources, and act to limit industry influence in the regulatory process. Areas of focus include and are not limited to:

  • Prevent harms to public health in accordance with the precautionary principle rather than reacting to harm after it has already occurred; 
  • Shift the burden of proof to demonstrate product safety onto industry, rather than requiring the government, individuals and consumer health advocates to demonstrate health harms in order to regulate and limit exposures;
  • Implement new methods for chemical safety testing which are more efficient, affordable, and relevant to breast cancer;
  • Increase transparency and accountability at the FDA and EPA in the regulatory and approval process;
  • Provide sufficient funding to monitor and enforce regulatory protections of public health.

I will evaluate all legislation and public policy that affects women living with and at risk of breast cancer in accordance with these principles for action and hereby commit to put patients before profit and protect the health of members of every community.