Corporations Cashing in Big Time on Breast Cancer -- 5 Shocking Hypocrisies
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Health and science journalist Gary Taubes wrote about sugar for the New York Times Magazine in 2011. In “Is Sugar Toxic?” he explained, “In animals, or at least in laboratory rats and mice, it’s clear that if the fructose hits the liver in sufficient quantity and with sufficient speed, the liver will convert much of it to fat. This apparently induces a condition known as insulin resistance, which is now considered the fundamental problem in obesity, and the underlying defect in heart disease and in the type of diabetes, type 2, that is common to obese and overweight individuals. It might also be the underlying defect in many cancers.”
Bottom line: Better to be safe than sorry. A steady diet of processed, sugary foods hardly justifies any financial benefit that might come from mailing in a few pink lids for charity.
3. Skin-Deep Charity
Thirteen-year-old Talia Castellano recently made headlines when the young makeup blogger appeared as a guest on “The Ellen Degeneres Show.” Castellano has been battling two forms of cancer for the last several years and says, “I love and adore makeup, using it as my wig and having so much self-confidence to go out to the grocery store without a wig.” CoverGirl not only brought Castellano on the show and gave her $20,000, they even made her an honorary Cover Girl.
Castellano’s inspiring story is perfect PR for a company that isn’t exactly known for its non-toxic ingredients. In fact, many products made by Procter and Gamble, the skincare and cosmetics giant behind CoverGirl, Max Factor and Pantene brands, contain what is often known as the toxic trio: parabens, formaldehyde and phthalates. The Breast Cancer Fund recently persuaded Johnson & Johnson to phase out its use of carcinogens and toxins in its various lines of skincare and beauty products. Procter and Gamble, Estee Lauder and Unilever were all encouraged to follow suit.
Instead of responding to calls to remove carcinogens from its products, this month P&G partnered with the National Breast Cancer Foundation to raise money for early detection awareness campaigns. P&G will donate $1 to NBCF for every breast exam pledge that Facebook users create. Much like Castellano’s heartwarming story, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with awareness and prevention. But once again, the company leading the charge is one that peddles products full of cancer-linked toxins. Maybe this partnership would be a bit more credible if the money spent on early detection campaigns was instead used to find alternative non-toxic ingredients for Procter and Gamble’s widely available cosmetics.
4. Pinkwashing Sexual Violence and Misogyny, NFL-Style
Do pink ribbons and jerseys on the field mean football stars care about women’s health? As Maura Kelly wrote in the New York Daily News, it seems unlikely. Though the National Football League is in its fourth year of plastering stadiums with pink décor and giving players and coaches pink apparel to wear throughout October, their anti-women actions during the other 11 months of the year might make women’s health and safety advocates raise an eyebrow or two.
“It’s hard to take this over-the-top effort seriously, given that the NFL sure doesn’t have a reputation for being terribly concerned about women—or their bodies,” Kelly wrote. She went on to list a number of the sexual violence and assault charges brought against high-profile NFL players in the past few years, including Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger’s multiple sexual assault accusations— which have barely been acknowledged by Roethlisberger or the League—and NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor’s 2010 rape conviction, which put him behind bars for 16 years.