TOO MUCH PINK
Have you joined the masses in the perpetual “pink campaign”?
Everywhere I look (especially in October), I see pink ribbons. And quite honestly, it makes me nauseated.
Every year, people spend millions of dollars on items with pink ribbons on them – all because consumers have been led to believe that their purchases will help end the breast cancer epidemic. This is not necessarily the case.
Companies know that aligning themselves with “breast cancer awareness” will improve the public’s perception of them and increase their profits. Often, people think, “between a regular product and one that has a pink ribbon on it, I’ll choose the pink ribbon product so at least some of my purchase goes to breast cancer research”. This couldn’t possibly be more wrong!
RAISING MORE MONEY ISN’T GOING TO END BREAST CANCER
Unfortunately, we often have no idea how much these companies are raising or how it’s being spent — which leads to another question: What happens to the money that does make it to the cause? Is it doing anything worthwhile for women with, or at risk for breast cancer?
Breast cancer rates continue to climb, year after year. We think that the huge amount of pink ribbon fundraising helps contribute to a sense that the “problem is solved”, though this is clearly not the case. As long as consumers think they’re doing something meaningful about breast cancer by participating in these campaigns, the real work that needs to be done around treatment, prevention, and access to care will continue to be under-funded and ignored. (the above is copied from the www.thinkbeforeyoupink.org website)
HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE “THINK BEFORE YOU PINK” CAMPAIGN?
It is a project of Breast Cancer Action, launched in 2002 in response to the growing concern about the overwhelming number of pink ribbon products and promotions on the market. The campaign calls for more transparency and accountability by companies that take part in the breast cancer fundraising, and encourages consumers to ask critical questions about pink ribbon promotions.
CRITICAL QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE YOU BUY “PINK”
Copied from the “Think Before You Pink” website
- How much money from your purchase actually goes toward breast cancer? Is the amount clearly stated on the package?
When the package does state the amount of the donation, is that amount enough? Fox Home Entertainment, for example, sold “DVDs for the Cure” for $14.95 and donated 50 cents to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Is this a significant contribution, or a piddly amount? You decide. If you can’t tell how much money is being donated, or if you don’t think it’s enough, give directly to the organization instead.
- What is the maximum amount that will be donated?
Many companies place a cap on the amount of money that will be donated. For example, Give Hope Jeans, sold by White House Black Market for $88, donated “net proceeds” from the sale to the organization Living Beyond Breast Cancer. But they’ve capped their contributions at $200,000. This means that once they had reached the $200,000 limit they stopped contributing, no matter how many pairs of jeans were purchased.
- How are the funds being raised?
Does making the purchase ensure a contribution to the cause? Or do you, the shopper, have to jump through hoops to make sure the money gets where it’s supposed to go? Lean Cuisine, for example, had a pink ribbon on its boxes of frozen meals, but the purchase of the meal did not result in a donation to a breast cancer organization. Instead, consumers had to visit the Lean Cuisine web site and buy a pink Lean Cuisine lunch tote. Only then would $5 of the tote purchase be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
- To what breast cancer organization does the money go, and what types of programs does it support?
Does the product’s package tell you where the money goes and what will be done with it? For example, Penn is selling pink tennis balls and the package states that 15 cents of your purchase will go to “a Breast Cancer Research Organization.” It doesn’t tell you which organization or what kind of research will be done. Will the money go to fund the same studies that have been ongoing for decades (which already get enormous financial support)? Or will it go to under-funded, innovative research into the causes of breast cancer?
- What is the company doing to assure that its products are not actually contributing to the breast cancer epidemic? **Brenda’s note, this is ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ONES TO CONSIDER.
Many companies that raise funds for breast cancer also make products that are linked to the disease. Breast Cancer Action calls these companies “pinkwashers.” Many cosmetics companies whose products contain chemicals linked to breast cancer also sell their items for the cause.
WHAT IS A PINKWASHER
A company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.
ASTRAZENECA: FRIEND OR FOE?
Did you know for example that Breast Cancer Awareness Month was started by AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical giant owned by Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI)? ICI is a leading international manufacturer of industrial chemicals and carcinogenic pesticides.
ICI also manufactures the plastic ingredient polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which has been directly linked to breast cancer. With annual sales in excess of $18 billion, ICI is one of the world’s largest producers and users of chlorine.
AstraZeneca manufactures pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. ICI and AstraZeneca’s chemical plants release daily potential cancer-causing pollution into the environment.
AstraZeneca is also the manufacturer of tamoxifen, often touted as the wonder drug for breast cancer. Yet tamoxifen is listed as a carcinogen (meaning it causes cancer) by the California Environmental Protection Agency, The National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences and the World Health Organization.
In 2009, a study by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center published their finding that while long-term use of tamoxifen among breast cancer survivors decreases their risk of developing the less aggressive type of cancer in the other breast by 60%, it increased the risk of the more aggressive, less easily treated form of cancer by 440%.
AstraZeneca really deserves credit for being a marketing genius. On one hand they cause a problem through their pesticides, herbicides and fungicides – products that makes them billions of dollars. Then they design a solution that makes them look like a hero and they make billions of dollars on the other side of the fence. However, it makes a complete mockery of the whole pink awareness campaign in October and unfortunately the majority of women are completely oblivious to the deceit behind the month’s activities.
In return for funding the “awareness” campaign, ICI and AstraZeneca have control and veto power over every poster, pamphlet and commercial produced by National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Perhaps that’s why you don’t see information on the environmental links to breast cancer or on prevention and breast health. It would be equivalent to killing the golden goose for them.
SUSAN G. KOMEN: DEFINITELY A PINKWASHER
In 1982 Nancy Brinker established the Susan G Komen for the Cure foundation, after a promise to her dying sister, Susan G. Komen (SGK), that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer.
However, The Komen Foundation owns stock in General Electric, one of the largest makers of mammogram machines in the world. GE makes ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and mammography machines. No wonder you don’t see them promoting thermography or a $30.00 Breast Chek Kit that are both much safer methods of detecting changes in breast tissue. SGK is truly INVESTED in you having mammograms!
On the flip side, GE is a major leader in nuclear energy. Radiation leakage is a serious consequence of nuclear plants and according to Dr. Peter Montegue who did a 5-part series, The Truth About Breast Cancer, radiation is a “complete carcinogen”.
Dr. Montegue writes, “Very few things have the ability to initiate cancer AND promote it AND make it progress. Things that can do this are called “complete carcinogens.” So why is SGK supporting what is an obvious carcinogen? Are they putting financial profit before women’s health?
NO WONDER SGK PROMOTES THE DANGEROUS TAMOXIFEN
SGK also owns stock in several pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca (now AzkoNobel). Remember, AstraZeneca are the makers of tamoxifen. AstraZeneca fully supports SGK. They contribute financially through educational grants to Komen and have a visible presence at the Race for the Cure. So it is not surprising at the 1998 Food and Drug Administration hearings, the SGK was the only national breast cancer group to endorse the AstraZeneca cancer treatment drug tamoxifen as a prevention device for healthy but high-risk women, despite vehement opposition by most other breast cancer groups because of its links to uterine cancer.
PINK IS LULLING WOMEN INTO COMPLACENCY
So while pink is making women the world over feel good, calmed by the baby pink color (a deliberate choice for the psychological effect) and reassured everything is being done to find the cure. The onus is put on them to practice early detection with mammograms (which cause more cancer) and it is implied everyone else is doing everything they can from a research point of view.
Nowhere is there information on the environmental carcinogens, on the dangers of mammography, or the benefits of thermography. Yet there are easy, affordable things that every woman can do as clearly outlined in Jan Janzen’s book Breast Health Exposed.
So please think before you pink and decide whether or not you want to contribute to major causes of breast cancer, support massive pharmaceutical companies that are completely hypocritical or do you truly want to promote breast health.
ACTION THAT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Take a stand!
Say NO to pink ribbon fundraising and let people know why. Don’t be afraid to be the first one to speak out in your group as you may find there are many others with the same opinion that are just as nervous as you are about voicing their beliefs. Unfortunately, those of us with an opposing viewpoint are seen as cold hearted or uncaring by society because we have all been pinkwashed. Break free from this stereotype and encourage others you know to do the same.
Take preventative action NOW.
- Don’t wait until it’s too late to do something. Start now. Reduce your estrogen dominance! For information on what is Estrogen Dominance go HERE.
- There is tons of free literature on how to lower estrogen dominance naturally on the internet, or you can follow my step by step guidelines in my book “Get Off the PMS and Perimenopausal Roller Coaster, Learn 9 Natural Fast Track Solutions to Balanced Hormones” (available through our online store).
- Take essential daily nutrients for Breast Health (and overall health in general).
- Read the article Total Health Packs for Breast Health on the Benefits page at www.TotalHealthPack.com
- Exercise your right to screening options. That’s right – you have OPTIONS. Do you know about thermography? It is a safe and much more effective alternative to mammograms for early detection. Find a practitioner in your area who specializes in this treatment. Suzanne Sutherland does Thermographic Imaging from her clinic in Vancouver BC
Would you like to use this article in your E-zine or website? You may, if you include this complete write-up with it: Brenda Eastwood is a holistic health expert who specializes in Women’s Health Issues. Her expertise stems from over 35 years’ experience as a Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner. This includes ongoing research, 17 years running a successful private practice, presenting hundreds of seminars and workshops, as well as coaching clients through her unique online Inner Circle program. Today she is reaching out to even more women through her regular article contributions to HANS (Health Action Magazine) and her book “Get off the PMS and Perimenopausal Roller Coaster, Learn 9 Natural Fast Track Solutions to Balanced Hormones”. For more information on Brenda Eastwood please visit www.BrendaEastwood.com or for information on her Total Health Packs visit www.TotalHealthPack.com