As we find ourselves once again awash in a sea of pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), few people who participate, donate or buy pink-themed products are aware that BCAM has always been a deliberate deception – a “pinkwash” which helps “do-gooder” sponsors hide their own culpability while promoting products which cause cancer.
In the beginning
Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) was launched in 1987 by Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), a British chemical company which has been a world leader in manufacturing cancer-causing pesticides, plastics and other products. From day one, ICI and later spin-off Zeneca have used BCAM to direct research and prevention efforts away from chemical carcinogens.
To this day, not a word can be found in any of the BCAM literature suggesting that decreasing exposure to chemical carcinogens or dietary changes can help play a role in cancer prevention.
Examples of BCAM sponsors who promote cancer causing products:
General Electric (GE)
GE, a major polluter of carcinogenic PCBs in a 200 mile stretch of the Hudson River, sells upwards of $100 million annually in mammography machines. BCAM emphasizes encouraging yearly mammograms. The trademark slogan is “Early Detection is Your Best Prevention.” Though it is too late to prevent cancer once it has been detected, 37 percent of American women believe that mammograms somehow prevent breast cancer.
While mammograms have never prevented a single instance of cancer, radiation from routine mammography causes tens of thousands of cases of breast cancer each year. The National Cancer Institute reports that mammography may cause 75 cases of breast cancer for every 15 it identifies in younger women. Additionally, mammograms misidentify tumors 70 percent of the time, resulting in huge numbers of unnecessary and invasive biopsies.
Biotech giant Monsanto is a major sponsor BCAM’s high profile event, the Race for the Cure. At the same time, Monsanto reaps huge profits from products which cause breast and other cancers. A study published in the October, 2012 edition of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology provided unprecedented evidence of the cancer causing dangers of the combination of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn and it’s herbicide Roundup.
Cow’s treated with Monsanto’s genetically engineered rBGH growth hormone produce milk with up to 10 times the normal Insulin-like Growth Factor I (IGF-1). IGF-1 has been identified as a leading risk factor for breast cancer as well as other cancers. Studies have shown that women with elevated levels of IGF-1 are seven times more likely to develop pre-menopausal breast cancer.
DuPont, another huge chemical company and major polluter, supplies much of the film used in mammography machines. Like GE, DuPont aggressively promotes mammography screening of women in their 40s, despite the risk of its contributing to breast cancer in that age group.
The cosmetic giants
Cosmetic and body care companies, including such industry powerhouses as Estee Lauder, Avon, Revlon, and Mary Kay annually market pink-ribboned products during BCAM. Many of those same products contribute to breast and other cancers.
Hormone-mimicking chemicals such as parabens and phthalates found in cosmetic and body care products increase the risk of breast cancer and cause a broad range of birth defects. A study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology in 2012 detected paraben esters in 99 percent of breast cancer tissues sampled.
Other cancer causers
In addition to the above list, a host of other sponsors also promote their cancer-causing products as part of BCAM, including KFC, Coca Cola, alcoholic beverage makers and many others.
For a more in-depth look at the deception of BCAM, see:
“Breast Cancer Deception – Hiding the Truth Beneath a Sea of Pink”