18 October 2010

Pink Washing (a bit of a rant - not weight related)

Let me begin by saying husband is a cancer survivor. Because of his illness and treatment, we were told we'd never have children (um, wrong-o!).  He had non-hodgkins lymphoma, intensive chemo and radiation, and three major surgeries. He came pretty close to dying more than once. My aunt died of cancer just last year, BFF is very active in raising money for childhood cancer research, one of my sweeteset church friends is currently fighting breast cancer, and we give to and support cancer research every chance we get.  I am NOT against taxes, NOR am I against government-funded cancer research.
What I am against  is PINK WASHING.

Earlier today, Becky Johns - a fellow weight loss blogger - posted about some of the known cancer-causing agents such as hormones and pesticides used in traditional farming. I support her assertion that many of the causes and cures for cancer are already known and available naturally. But this does not deny that cancer research and treatment saves lives - many many lives every day.

There are KNOWN causes of cancer that are freely marketed in this country that are killing people and displaying pink ribbons while they do it. This is an insult to all people, especially cancer survivors. Chemicals such as pthalates, formaldahyde, and parabens are used in underarm deodorant (for example), seep into the lymphatic system and into the breasts caushing cancer. This is what the research proves, but the FDA continues to allow these products to be sold, wearing the pink ribbon on their packages as they do it. Why? Because the companies who sell them and the lobbyists they hire are more powerful than the people who die from cancer each year. Even BABY LOTION contains these poisons. And don't even get me started on nail polish! Do you know why the ladies at the nail salon wear face masks? It's NOT to protect you or themselves from germs. It's because the level of cancer in that profession was off the CHARTS due to the carcinogens in nail polish. And people put this crap on our little girls!  And lipstick, oh my good grief, the stuff in lipstick! Wait . . . Okay, I could go on forever, or you could check out "No More Dirty Looks" in my side bar.  Read the book Not Just a Pretty Face  by Stacy Malkan. While you're at it, check out the Environmental Working Group's Website.  Choose your favorite beauty product and put it in the database at Skin Deep.  Put in something like Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sunblock Lotion, SPF 55 and see that it is listed as "HIGH HAZARD". You will find that the chemicals in the formula have been known to contribute to developmental delays, reproductive issues, allergies, immunotoxicities, neurotoxins, endocrine distruption, irritation of skin/eyes/lungs, and changes on the cellular level, to name a few!  I chose Aveeno because it market itself as "natural alternative" and is so so scary.  But, hey - let's check out Estee Lauder - they are giving bigtime millions to the pink ribbon campaign. Anybody like Tommy Girl Cologne?  Well, it'll kill ya! It's a level 8 environmental hazard (10 being the highest).  It has all the pretties as the Aveeno sunblock, PLUS it causes cancer. But, hey - that's ok right, cuz they're looking to cure it with their donations. As long as we don't make them stop causing it with their ingredients.

And the best part? No, the most ironic part - is that these SAME companies make different (and less profitable) formulas to sell to consumers in Europe because - why? - because those chemicals are BANNED in Europe!

I am so unendingly grateful to and proud of  doctors, researchers, and people who can beat cancer. I would never say don't do research for the cure, because a cure is our second-best chance. But eliminating the causes would really be optimal, wouldn't it?

Stepping down off of the soapbox now.


  1. Shortened version of what I wrote on Becky's blog...

    I agree that cancer-causing agents should be gotten rid of. But, here's where I run into a problem? What's wrong with these companies donating money to find a cure? Yeah, they should focus on making things that don't cause cancer, but why shouldn't they donate money as well? I think you're making a different than Becky was, but I'm still not sure I agree.

  2. Hi Raych;

    The more money that goes into research the better off we are, I agree with you on that point. But, it's more than a bit wrong for them to advertise they are against breast cancer when they are knowingly contributing to it's cause, is it not?

  3. I try real hard to not eat processed foods, but can't do without my hand lotion or some other things that I'm now sure I shouldn't use. Need to give it some more thought.

    Well written.

    Vee at http://veegettinghealthy.blogspot.com

  4. No worries, Vee, there are good products out there. Some are worse than others, of course. Check that Skin Deep database and you'll find some goodies that won't kill ya. I've been using Burt's Bees lotion since my research began on this and I don't have to use it as often as I had to use the old stuff I was using!

  5. Of course it's more than a bit wrong. It's very, very, very wrong. But their bad choices don't turn their good choices into bad ones. Basically, the fact that a company doesn't make things that are carcinogen free doesn't mean that they shouldn't donate money to finding a cure. One has little to do with the other and I'm not sure why Becky connected them.

  6. There is nothing at all wrong with standing on the soap box for a bit. I have a habit of doing this myself sometimes. Good info - it makes you stop and think, doesn't it?

  7. BRAAVO!! And I am definitely checking into the resources you listed. For me, part of the soapbox rand is the difficulty in finding this information! Thank you!

  8. No please...do NOT get down off your soapbox! Your 'rant' (if that's what you want to call it) is so appropos for not only cancer...but so many other illness' in our society!!!! So I'll join you on your soapbox anyday!

  9. Awesome post! You need to look at the black and white and the grays. Large corporations definitely do not have our best interests at heart...just $$$.

  10. My 2-cents, do not trust your health to those who make / sell anything and definitely do not trust any group (government of otherwise) whose purpose is to regulate or facilitate the markets. In the end, economics is what drives the vast vast majority of all involved. Sure, there are exceptions. But finding them is a trip into the needle & haystack syndrome. So, do your research, take it upon yourself to know because you can't be sure what you're being told is true, can you?

    A home run of a post here by you. Or would you prefer a touchdown?


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