Group warns shoppers to avoid 'pinkwashed' products

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: pinkwashing, breast cancer, health news

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(NaturalNews) Breast cancer awareness "pink" campaigns are nothing new, with billboards, bracelets, bumper stickers, clothing, and even consumer products plastered in the bright color as a reminder about the deadly disease. But many are growing weary of the never-ending media blitz, including the advocacy group Breast Cancer Action (BCA), because breast cancer awareness has largely become nothing more than a marketing ploy for major companies to sell more products, including many that actually cause cancer.

Take Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), for instance. Earlier this year, KFC launched a "Buckets for the Cure" campaign that promised to donate 50 cents from every bucket of fried chicken sold to "end breast cancer forever." Too bad KFC's chicken is loaded with cancer-causing chemicals like monosodium glutamate (MSG) and fried in trans-fat oils.

"KFC sells products that are salt- and fat-laden, and injected with hormones, and they are the subject of a lawsuit in California about a potential carcinogen that they use in the processing of their chicken," explained Samantha King, author of Pink Ribbons Inc. and associate professor at Queen's University, to

More recently, Mike's Hard Lemonade and Chambord Vodka both launched pink campaigns to promote their alcohol. Alcohol consumption, of course, is linked to causing cancer.

Back in 2002, both Yoplait and Dannon painted their yogurt products pink, even though the milk used in their production came from cows treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). Despite reassurances from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that rBGH is safe, the artificial hormone chemical actually contributes to causing cancer.

And a Canadian gas station chain covers their stations in pink ribbons every year, even though the pollution caused by burned gasoline is linked cancer as well.

In 2002, BCA launched the "Think Before You Pink" campaign to urge consumers to consider whether the pink products they purchase are actually contributing to a good cause or not. Thanks in part to the campaign, overwhelming pressure from consumers caused both Dannon and Yoplait to stop using rBGH milk in their yogurts, and BCA hopes the same will happen with other companies that have "pinkwashed" their cancer-causing products.

Consumers should also beware of breast cancer awareness programs in general. Breast cancer can already be both prevented and treated through proper nutrition and supplementation with powerful herbs and medicinal foods. To learn more about breast cancer, please visit:

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