Saturday’s Cause: Think Before You Pink


I had sort of promised myself that I wouldn’t write about issues that would cause a lot of conflict on this here “happy” blog. Most of the time I am unprepared for any rebuttals and just don’t want to stir the pot. But sometimes things just get ridiculous and I have to stand up and declare it. Some of you may not like this but hear me out. I have a bone (a giant dinosaur sized bone) to pick with the Pink Ribbon and Susan G. Komen.

First let me say: I hate breast cancer. I hate it. My step-grandmother died from it and my other grandmother, great-aunt, and best friend’s mom fought it and won (thank goodness). It’s an awful, widespread disease and we (meaning anyone and everyone) should be doing everything we can to stop it. Sadly, most of us are not going about it the right way.

Most of this information I found on Breast Cancer Action’s website. They clearly cite all of their sources and, upon further digging, I found the facts here to be well researched and true. “BCAction is a national, feminist grassroots education and advocacy organization working to end the breast cancer epidemic.” I have studied most of their website and publications and personally think that they are a great resource for facts but not so awesome at providing information on how each of us, as individuals, can contribute to the greater cause. Their main cause is getting the government involved in breast cancer prevention and stopping organizations that are making the situation worse. With that being said, I will only use their website for facts.

Let’s establish some ground rules, if you disagree with these I’m not sure you should read on:

1. Eating an unhealthy diet filled with trans. fats, hormone laden poultry, malnourished beef, sugar filled candy, and fried anything will definitely increase your risk of disease.

2. Using products with toxin chemicals in them, even in small doses changed your bodies chemistry and also greatly increases your risk.

Obviously there are a huge number of other potential causes, environmental and otherwise, and you can find some information on those here. But I will not dive into that because it’s not relevant to what I have to say.

On to the meat of this post! In past I was a frequent purchaser of Pink Ribbon products. If I had to buy something, might as well buy it pink and donate to a greater cause right? Oh how wrong I was. Susan G. Komen began right here in Peoria, IL and I will fight against them right here in Peoria, IL. According to their website, SGK was launched in 1982 and has had great success. They have raised almost $2 billion to cure and advocate for breast cancer. That, in itself, is incredible. It shows that the public really cares for the cause and just needs a place to direct their efforts. I also have no doubt that SGK started from an honest place in a very kind and sad woman’s heart. Unfortunately, what started as an incredible effort on the part of one sister to raise awareness and end the disease has turned into an unbelievably backwards  organization.

Let’s cut the crap:

1. In 1970, 1 in 10 women developed breast cancer in their lifetime. By 2011 the risk had increased to 1 in 8 (National Cancer Institute).

2. 30-50% of all BC cases involve one or more of the following known risk factors: family history; early menarche (i.e., menstruation before age 11) or late menopause (age 51 and over); bearing children later in life (age 35 and over) or no childbirth; hormone replacement therapy; alcohol consumption; and exposure to ionizing radiation (e.g., x-rays, mammograms, nuclear power plants). This leaves 50-70% not accounted for by any of these things. (“Identifying Gaps in Breast Cancer Research.” California Breast Cancer Research Program. Ed. Julia Brody et al.)

3. In April 2010 the President’s Cancer Panel declared: “The Panel was particularly concerned to find that the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated [and] … the American people—even before they are born—are bombarded continually with myriad combinations of these dangerous exposures.” They urged the President ”to use the power of [his] office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase health care costs, cripple our Nation’s productivity, and devastate American lives.”

So why raise a stink against Susan G Komen? They’re just doing the best they can to raise awareness and fund research. Right? MMM, not quite. It it obvious from the above facts that we can try as hard as we want to “cure” breast cancer but it’s just not working. Women, WAY too many of them, are still dying. I absolutely do not discount the survivors. There are many of them and, in my book, they rank as some of the strongest most admirable women on the planet. But why are we focusing on researching a cure rather than the cause and how, specifically, to prevent it? Why not encourage women to make their bodies a fighting machine? Encourage them to eat right, exercise, and make healthy decisions. Why not start from ground zero and make our way up to fighting what we still cannot prevent?

On that note, here are a some recent SGK promotions:


^ Promise Me perfume: At $60 a bottle, $8 of it actually goes to SGK. Based on their 2011 annual report, 19% of that ($1.50) per bottle will actually go to research. On top of that, it contains at least 2 toxic chemicals, Galaxolide (hormone disruptor) and Toluene (potent neurotoxicant banned by the IFRA).


^ In 2010, SGK partnered with KFC to sell “Buckets for the Cure.” 50 cents of every bucket sold went to SGK. Yep, buy some fast food fried chicken and fight breast cancer!


^ SGK has partnered with General Mills for their “Save Lids to Save Lives” campaign. By buying these sugary, chemical filled products and sending in the lids you are saving lives! Donate to SGK, provide lots of revenue for General Mills, and increase your own risk. Side note, before BCAction focused on the yogurt in 2008, all Yoplait yogurt was made with the hormone stimulant rBGH.

These are just some of the products that affect the human body in a negative way. Please read the “Think Before You Pink Toolkit”, found here, for more in-depth information.

So what do we do? Well, from now on, I will not be buying anything “pink.” I will not support a cause that is driving in the wrong direction no matter how pure the intention. And until I find another group that is looking for a cure AS WELL AS working to educate women on the daily act of disease prevention, I will do it myself. I promise to educate as many people as I can on having a good diet made of pure, nutrient rich food and an exercise routine that gets their blood flowing and their body fighting. I will not give my money but I will give my time and effort.

Now that I’ve decided, what do you think?


4 thoughts on “Saturday’s Cause: Think Before You Pink

  1. Ruth Rainwater

    Great post! I think Komen started out with good intentions, as you said, but they have devolved into a money-making machine and have allowed themselves to be caught up in politics – never a good thing for a non-profit. I don’t know of any organization that is helping women avoid breast cancer and is funding research. I have avoided giving money to Komen for quite a while, and I don’t buy anything with a pink ribbon on it because I don’t think the money really goes to a worthy cause. I realize my stance may be unpopular, but we should be thinking for ourselves and not allowing ourselves to get caught up in the hype for anything.

  2. Sheri

    Ash, I couldn’t believe what I was reading! I have had issues with the whole Komen thing for quite some time. I agree that it all started out as a very worthy cause but has turned into a real money making project as you so very well explained!! I am so tired of all the “pink stuff” and quit supporting several years ago . . . .


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