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.