On February 3, 2021, the European Commission (EC) presented its Beating Cancer Plan, which aims to enact a set of policy and research mechanisms over the coming years to improve Europe’s efforts to prevent and treat cancer. The Commission further published a fact sheet as well as set of questions and answers about the plan and the government’s aims in implementing it. The plan specifically includes a section dedicated to reducing exposure to hazardous substances and references the EC’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (FPF reported), which “will make it possible to deal with hazardous chemicals more rapidly, and effectively reduce the exposure of consumers and professionals to carcinogenic substances, or to other hazardous chemicals that interfere with the endocrine and immune systems.”

The civil society organization Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) recently published a set of demands for the new plan. It urges the EC to “fight cancer with the most vulnerable in mind” and to “prevent cancer from farm to fork,” including that the EU “revises outdated EU legislation on food contact materials.” It calls for the EU to uphold its current “zero pollution ambition in every part of the environment” and to work on raising public awareness about carcinogens in our daily lives.


EC (February 3, 2021). “Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.” (pdf)

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EC (February 3, 2021). “Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan: A new EU approach to prevention, treatment and care.” 

EC (February 3, 2021). “Questions and Answers: Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.” 

EC (February 3, 2021). “EU Health Union: Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.” (pdf)

European Parliament (February 3, 2021). “Beating cancer: MEPs react to the EU Plan for joint action.”

HEAL (February 1, 2021). “4 demands for an ambitious Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.”