In this second installment of the series, we will take a look at 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 that 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 a 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 that 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 le
Latest posts by Tony Isaacs (see all)
- Powerful natural cold relief to help you feel better fast - December 10, 2015
- Study: Surprising brain health benefits of beet juice - November 30, 2015
- Combat cancer and ditch diabetes with 5 spice rack secrets - November 19, 2015