Healthy Child Healthy World

Formerly known as the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition (CHEC), Healthy Child Healthy World was founded by James and Nancy Chuda in 1991 after their daughter Colette died from Wilm’s tumor – a rare form of non-hereditary cancer. Healthy Child is a national, non-profit 501(c) 3 organization headquartered in Los Angeles. Healthy Child is governed by an outstanding volunteer Board of Directors and distinguished group of advisors and is strengthened by community and corporate partners. Healthy Child is playing a leadership role in one of the most important public health and environmental movements of the 21st century.

At a 2002 Children’s Health Environmental Coalition fundraiser in Los Angeles, Meryl Streep, Nell Newman, and biochemist Lawrie Mott were all honored for their work in environmental health.

I am really proud of the achievements of Children’s Health Environmental Coalition (CHEC). And of Mothers and Others, which is the organization I formed, with my friends in Connecticut 20 years ago, in response to the National Resources Defense Council report on pesticides on fruits and vegetables and their effects on children. Before the Alar drama of 1989, I would say that most mainstream moms had no idea that a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables might contain certain substances that could cross the placenta and have an effect on their unborn children; or that once the child was born that toxins would enter their bodies through their breast milk; or that, once weaned, those little bodies taking in gallons of apple juice and mashed bananas and everything else might contain substances that might prove problematic later on in their lives. The thing that I came away with from the Alar controversy was that I realized I am not an activist. I can play one, but the lawsuits that followed me, the irate growers, the people who broke into my home – I was really very intimidated by all that. I’m really more like Julia Roberts than Erin Brockovich. But I realized I really am an activist. We are all activists every day that we make a purchase. We vote daily with our credit cards; we demonstrate with our dollars. Americans, mostly women, demonstrated that they cared what is on our food. We made the connection between what is on our food and our children’s health long before Congress enacted new regulations to protect our kids from pesticide residues.