How do we fight cancer? MEP Manuela Ripa presents concrete measures to the Special Committee on Combating Cancer

Brussels, 27.09.2021. MEP Manuela Ripa (ÖDP) asked this morning in the Special Committee on Beating Cancer, the crucial question: What can the European Parliament do together with the Member States to fight cancer?

Prevention! Cancer prevention is and remains the most tangible answer to the devastating widespread disease.

Ripa made it clear in her speech that prevention cannot be the promotion of a healthy lifestyle alone, but that EU-wide laws are needed. Laws that regulate and ban the use of carcinogenic ingredients in everyday products.

Until these laws take effect, prevention must take place primarily through consumer education. Citizens must be clearly informed when they reach for a product with carcinogenic ingredients on the supermarket shelf; they must be educated that, in addition to tobacco and alcohol, too much red and processed meat, certain pesticides and chemicals are carcinogenic. “These are not new, but well-known facts – and yet we struggle with labelling,” Ripa states in committee.

She is particularly concerned about protecting children: “Child obesity is a worrying and growing problem, so we need to better protect our children from the harmful effects of unhealthy products.” She calls for an end to advertising of nutrient-poor, unhealthy foods that contain too much sugar and salt, for example, whose main target group is children. This includes limiting marketing strategies, such as not depicting cartoon characters on these products. “Heroes who adore our children should not be allowed to advertise products that make them sick!”

Ripa appeals to the member states and the Council of the European Union: “There is a need for laws at the European level that regulate and ban the use of carcinogenic substances; the Council of the European Union must stop blocking or watering down important laws in the field of consumer protection; more than ever, it is important to strengthen consumer protection and in particular the protection of our children through joint and determined action.”