Blaming someones death on a hunch!
CAPE is a useless organization exploiting death and children.
If only Selina Robinson could of helped:
Who was Nicole Bruinsma? Why is this story so UN- important?
Looking for answers to why she had been afflicted – and finding no predisposition to these cancers in her family – she found herself inextricably drawn into researching the effects of pesticides in the environment. This began when she attended the first World Conference on Breast Cancer at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. There she saw the film Exposure which suggests certain environmental factors can produce endocrine disruptors and increase estrogen production. It was an epiphany.
Nicole was already active in environmental issues, but now she became unstoppable. She brought the film to show to a group of around 200 people in her hometown of Chelsea, Québec, beginning a groundswell which ended with that community effecting a municipal ban on the use of pesticides – including the local Larrimac Golf Club, which is now proudly pesticide-free.
But it didn't stop there. In 1999, Nicole testified at length before a House of Commons Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development on the dangers of pesticide use and the inadequate protective checks and balances in the Canadian regulatory scene. She told them about the over 500 chemicals that humans now carry in their bodies that weren't there 80 years ago, about how these chemicals tend to accumulate in fat cells (and that breasts are mostly fat), and about the resultant extreme contamination of breast milk. She also explained that molecules in certain pesticides disrupt hormones, and that this kind of disruption has been linked to cancer.
In 2000, despite the surgeries and all the treatment, Nicole was stunned to find out that her cancer had returned – and metastisized. She immediately had her ovaries removed in an attempt to slow the disease. The usual choice for chemical treatment at this point would be Taxotere, a drug used for breast cancer when primary chemo has failed, but this presented Nicole with an ethical quandary. It is sold by Aventis, which also produces pesticides. In desperation, she decided to try alternative treatments, first in the Bahamas, then in Europe. Meantime, the House of Commons Standing Committee released its report on pesticides, Making the Right Choice, in which she is quoted extensively. A reworking of pesticide legislation called the Canadian Pest Control Products Act followed, completed in 2002. In Europe, Nicole's health took an abrupt turn for the worse. In a last ditch effort to help her, she was injected with Taxotere and, to everyone's astonishment, she recovered.
The following year, Nicole was made honorary president of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), an organization she had helped to found some years before. At the same time, the community of Hudson, Québec – where Nicole had grown up – had had to fight a legal battle against two pesticide companies, Spray-Tech and Chemlawn, because of the municipal ban on pesticides that it had put into effect. The case went to the Supreme Court and in June, that court ruled in favour of the municipality and upheld its right to have a cosmetic pesticide ban.
Dr Nicole Bruinsma died February 27, 2002, five years after her first diagnosis.
Two weeks later, in response to a Saturday Night magazine article about Nicole, Loblaw Companies discontinued the sale of chemical pesticides in its 440 garden centres. Also in 2002, CAPE established the Nicole Bruinsma Memorial Award for Environmental Leadership. Her colleague, CAPE President Warren Bell, remembered in the organization's newsletter, "Nicole was a bright spark, a vibrant person who wanted to make a difference – and did."
The effects of Nicole's remarkable activism continue. In 2006, the Province of Québec government banned the use of chemical pesticides on lawns, with Dow Chemical immediately challenging the ban under the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Several big retailers – Home Depot, WalMart and Rona – all announced they would discontinue sales of chemical pesticides in 2008.
Nicole Bruinsma was an exceptional person, committed to her beliefs, who made a real and substantial contribution to her community and the larger world. And she was a warrior. As she led the campaign to ban pesticides, both in her community and further afield, she faced the daunting personal tragedy of her own illness. This story – her story – is important to our society, our community, our future. And in telling it, our film will assert two central truths: first, that individuals can make a difference, and second, that we need to take action to protect our environment.
The Nicole Bruinsma Memorial Award