TDSB: Stop Serving Carcinogens to Children

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Nation Rising is a grassroots political advocacy group representing the interests of individuals and organizations concerned about the negative impacts of animal agriculture on the planet, our health, and animals.

On the grounds that processed meat is carcinogenic to humans, we are appealing to the Toronto District School Board to stop allowing schools to serve processed meat to children.

A report from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer released in 2015 categorized processed meat (including hotdogs, hamburgers, pepperoni, and ham) as a class one carcinogen in the same group as tobacco smoke, plutonium, and asbestos: 

http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2015/pdfs/pr240_E.pdf

With this information available to them, it is grossly irresponsible for them to continue to allow schools to serve processed meat to children who have no idea that it could make them sick.

The Canadian Cancer Society has recommended processed meat be avoided entirely, and yet it is *still* the staple at almost every single school function: http://www.cancer.ca/en/prevention-and-screening/reduce-cancer-risk/make-healthy-choices/eat-well/limit-red-meat-and-avoid-processed-meat/?region=on

A California school board recently took action, and banned processed meat, saying “There’s no room for carcinogens on the lunch line.” https://vegnews.com/2018/9/california-school-district-bans-processed-meat

We are asking the Ministry of Education and the Toronto District School Board to act on this knowledge responsibly, and in the best interest of the children by not allowing processed meat to be served at school.

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On top of signing, PLEASE also send an email addressed to:
1. District Manager, Nutrition Services at the TDSB (Shelley Lucas): Shelley.Lucas@tdsb.on.ca
2. Director of Education (Dr. Malloy): director'soffice@tdsb.on.ca
3. Minister of Education (Lisa Thompson): lisa.thompson@pc.ola.org
4. Minister of Health (Ginette Petitpas Taylor): Ginette.PetitpasTaylor@parl.gc.ca

Here's a template:

I am writing out of concern for the policies in place that allow Toronto schools to serve food to children that is known to be carcinogenic.

I’m sure you are aware of the report from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer released in 2015 that categorizes processed meat (including hotdogs, hamburgers, pepperoni, and ham) as a class one carcinogen in the same group as tobacco smoke, plutonium, and asbestos: http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2015/pdfs/pr240_E.pdf

With this information available to us, I wonder why the Ministry of Education and the Toronto District School Board continues to allow schools to serve processed meat at BBQs, picnics and pizza lunches? Wouldn’t you agree that, given the science, it is grossly irresponsible?

The Canadian Cancer Society has recommended processed meat be avoided entirely, and yet it is *still* the staple at almost every single school function: http://www.cancer.ca/en/prevention-and-screening/reduce-cancer-risk/make-healthy-choices/eat-well/limit-red-meat-and-avoid-processed-meat/?region=on

Not only does it put students' health at risk, but given that animal agriculture is the leading cause of global warming, water pollution, ocean dead zones, and deforestation, it’s also putting the future of the planet (the one these children are set to inherit) at risk.

I’ve been to several school events with my child this year and at each one, *known* carcinogenic foods were being served to children who have no idea that it could make them sick. The Ministry of Education and the Toronto District School Board do know though, and have a responsibility to act on that knowledge. I would like to know how you plan to act.

Sincerely,
A mother / student / teacher / someone who cares about children



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