(NaturalNews) It`s Breast Cancer Awareness Month again and from shore to shore the country is awash in a sea of pink - from pink ribbons and donation boxes to pink products, charity promotions, celebrities by the score and even pink cleats on NFL players. Tragically, most people are unaware of the dark history of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) and of the players past and present who have misused it to direct people and funds away from finding a true cure, while covering up their own roles in causing and profiting from cancer.
In this second installment of the six part series we will take a look at the some of the other foundations and charities that have become involved in Breast Cancer Awareness, including The American Cancer Society - "the world`s wealthiest non-profit organization".
The Foundations and Charities
A pink giant among breast cancer foundations is the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, famous for their annual Race for the Cure, and which has a huge list of corporate sponsors, including such notables as General Mills and Mars Snackfoods among their Million Dollar Elite club. The Komen Foundation has a lengthy list of risk factors, yet does not list exposure to toxins among them.
As noted in the 2003 article "Compromised", "Participants in the Race for the Cure are often greeted as they cross the finish line with live music, inspirational speakers and acres of colorfully adorned corporate booths. Pink, the chosen color of the international breast cancer movement, is everywhere, on hats, T-shirts, teddy bears and ribbons. A sense of community and camaraderie pervades the celebration by thousands of breast cancer survivors and friends of survivors."
"What`s missing is the truth," says Judy Brady of the Toxic Links Coalition in San Francisco. She wants to see a cure for breast cancer as much as anyone, but she and her group, along with several other activist breast cancer groups, have something to point out about the Susan G. Komen Foundation`s activities: "There`s no talk about prevention except, in terms of lifestyle, your diet for instance. No talk about ways to grow food more safely. No talk about how to curb industrial carcinogens. No talk about contaminated water."
Though giving some lip service to the "debate over mammograms", the Komen Foundation nevertheless promotes mammograms as an important screening tool and recommends that women get regular mammograms starting at age 40, stating that "despite some ongoing debate, mammography is still the best screening tool widely used today for the early detection of breast cancer."
The Komen Foundation owns stock in General Electric, one of the largest makers of mammogram machines in the world. It also owns stock in several pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca (now AzkoNobel) . AstraZeneca has long been a Komen booster, making educational grants to Komen and having a visible presence at the Race For the Cure. At the 1998 Food and Drug Administration hearings, the Komen Foundation 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.
Another prominent breast cancer organization is The National Breast Cancer Foundation, whose stated mission is "to save lives by increasing awareness of breast cancer through education and by providing mammograms for those in need." Their National Mammography Program includes the "Donate a Free Mammogram Program". Their education includes nothing about the toxins and environmental causes of cancer.
Similarly, the Prevent Cancer Foundation, gives advice on how to prevent and detect cancer, but fails to include toxins and environmental factors and is yet another foundation which heavily promotes mammograms. Currently, they are promoting their "Pledge to Screen Your Boobs & Enter to Win a Pink Vespa" program, seeking donations and stating that "early detection and screening can help to stop breast cancer before it strikes".
In other words, according to the various foundations and organizations which advocate screening and mammograms, the way to "stop cancer before it strikes" is to detect it after it has already struck.
The American Cancer Society - The World`s Most Profitable Non-Profit
If the Komen Foundation is a giant among breast cancer charities, the true 800 pound gorilla in all of the cancer non-profit organizations is the highly profitable American Cancer Society (ACS).
As reported in "American Cancer Society: The World`s Wealthiest `Non-profit` Institution`` in the International Journal of Health Services, the ACS "is fixated on damage control - screening, diagnosis and treatment, - and genetic research, with indifference or even hostility to cancer prevention. Together with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the ACS has failed to provide Congress, regulatory agencies and the public with the strong body of scientific evidence clearly relating the escalating incidence of non-smoking related cancers to involuntary and avoidable exposures to industrial carcinogens in air, water, the workplace, and consumer products - food, cosmetics and toiletries - so that appropriate corrective and legislative regulatory and action has not been taken."
Like the other foundations mentioned earlier, the ACS has myriad ties to industries which profit from and contribute to cancer. One such relationship is the one they have maintained with AstraZeneca. Together with the NCI, in 1992 the ACS launched an aggressive "chemoprevention" program aimed at recruiting 16,000 healthy women who were supposedly at "high risk`` of breast cancer into a 5-year clinical trial of Zeneca`s tamoxifen. The women were told that the drug was essentially harmless, and that it could reduce their risk of breast cancer. What the women were not told was that tamoxifen was well-known to induce aggressive human uterine cancer or that it had previously been shown to be a highly potent liver carcinogen in rodent tests.
Other ties include board members tied to such companies as Glaxo-SmithKline Smith, Glaxo Welcome, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Block Drug Company, Reliant Pharmaceuticals, OSI Pharmaceuticals, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Various Lobbying Firms, Venture Capitalists, Sherwin-Williams Company and many others.
Among a great many questionable actions by the ACS that have been interpreted to be favorable to such institutions and industries in the past are:
* The ACS opposed proposed regulations in 1977-78 for hair coloring products that contained dyes suspected of causing breast cancer. In so doing, the ACS ignored the fact that these chemicals were proven liver and breast carcinogens.
* In 1982, the ACS adopted a highly restrictive cancer policy that insisted on unequivocal human evidence of carcinogenicity before taking any position on public health hazards. Accordingly, the ACS still trivializes or rejects evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals, and has actively campaigned against laws that ban deliberate addition to food of any amount of any additive shown to cause cancer in either animals or humans.
* In 1992, the ACS issued a joint statement with the Chlorine Institute in support of the continued global use of organochlorine pesticides despite clear evidence that some such pesticides were known to cause breast cancer. In the joint statement, ACS Vice President Clark Heath, M.D., dismissed evidence of the risks as "preliminary and mostly based on weak and indirect association."
* In September 1996, the ACS, together with a diverse group of patient and physician organizations, filed a "citizen`s petition" to pressure FDA to ease restrictions on access to silicone gel breast implants. What the ACS did not disclose was that the gel in these implants had clearly been shown to induce cancer in several industry rodent studies, and that these implants were also contaminated with other potent carcinogens such as ethylene oxide and crystalline silica.
The ACS is called "the world's wealthiest non-profit" for good reason. Despite annually pleading poverty and huge fundraising efforts across the nation, at the end of 2008, the combined ACS financial statements reflected net assets of over $1.5 Billion.
A 1992 article in the Wall Street Journal by Thomas DiLorenzo, professor of economics at Loyola College and veteran investigator of nonprofit organizations, revealed that the Texas affiliate of the ACS owned more than $11 million worth of assets in land and real estate, as well as more than fifty-six vehicles, including eleven Ford Crown Victorias for senior executives and forty-five other cars assigned to staff members. Arizona`s ACS chapter spent less than 10 percent of its funds on direct community cancer services. In California, the figure was 11 percent, and under 9 percent in Missouri.
Thus for every $1 spent on direct service in 1992, approximately $6.40 was spent on compensation and overhead. In all ten states, salaries and fringe benefits are by far the largest single budget items, a surprising fact in light of the characterization of the appeals, which stress an urgent and critical need for donations to provide cancer services. Nationally, only 16 percent or less of all money the ACS raised was spent on direct services to cancer victims, like driving cancer patients from the hospital after chemotherapy, and providing pain medication.
In the intervening years, the ACS has reported spending a larger percentage of the money it raises on program services, with 26% going to direct services and another 47% being spent on research, prevention and detection/treatment services. Unfortunately, the research funds are directed almost entirely to the same surgery, chemo and radiation therapies that have failed to win the war on cancer for almost four decades now. Likewise, prevention and detection/treatment services overlook toxins and environmental causes and promote more screening and mammograms.
It is a tried and failed program of the same forms of prevention, treatment and research that has benefited those who profit from continuing the failed war on cancer while obscuring and protecting the roles of those who have caused it.
In part three of this series we will examine the role of government institutions and the misdirected research into the real causes, prevention and cures for breast cancer.
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year. He is also a contributing author for the worldwide advocacy group "S.A N.E.Vax. Inc" which endeavors to uncover the truth about HPV vaccine dangers. Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near Austin and San Antonio to give lectures and health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs - featuring Luella May" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup" and he serves as a consultant to the "Utopia Silver Supplement Company".