Controversy: Susan G. Komen for the Cure & BPA

Witch’s Rock in Blarney, Ireland. I’m feeling witchy today.

I’m a bit angry today. I’m forgoing my usual Link Love Friday post and stepping back up on my soapbox for a moment to share just one link: this story about Susan G. Komen for the Cure from Mother Jones. Here’s the gist, in case you don’t have time to read the whole thing: Susan G. Komen, an organization that funds breast cancer research, says that bisphenol A (otherwise known as BPA) does not increase a person’s risk of developing breast cancer. (See for yourself on their “Factors That Do Not Increase Risk” page–just scroll down to “plastics.”)

This wouldn’t be surprising, except that the story goes on to reveal that Susan G. Komen has also funded two different research projects that are currently investigating the safety of BPA. So, at best, based on their own research projects, you would think the organization would caution their network of cancer survivors to be wary of BPA, if not warn them to do their best to avoid it altogether. Just to be on the safe side.

I don’t enjoy being critical of an organization that has done many great things for cancer survivors, but I think definitively saying that BPA is safe while there is so much evidence to the contrary* (and while their organization is researching this very topic), is irresponsible. Worst of all, it turns out that several of the organization’s biggest donors happen to include BPA in their products, which makes me question their ethics as well.

So. Draw your own conclusions here. It’s possible that BPA is indeed safe. Personally, I don’t think that’s the case. I also don’t think chemicals like BPA should be considered innocent until proven guilty, which is why I do my best to stay away from them. (That’s easier said than done: You might remember this post from a few weeks back, where I linked to a story in which a scientist was quoted as saying that we “kind of swim in” BPA.)

I am seriously disappointed with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization. I’d love to hear your thoughts, though. Are you disappointed, too? Am I being overly critical?

10/2/2016 UPDATE: Oh, look! Komen has conveniently removed “plastics” from their list of Factors That Do Not Increase Risk and into “Factors Under Study,” although the information on the site is still very pro-BPA. Baby steps, perhaps, but still not going far enough, Komen. 


*For sources, check out the links in the first few paragraphs of the Mother Jones story.

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2 Comments on Controversy: Susan G. Komen for the Cure & BPA

  1. Meredith said on

    It is maddening! Its a shame so many are giving up their time to fundraise for this group. But then again, it is across the board. Many of the marches/ runs for the cure to this or tug on well intentioned heart’s strings for support while they are steeped in corruption, conflicts of interest and at their core really do not have patients interests in mind rather the interests of their big donors and Pharma and their own jobs. Rethink Pink!!! And no more fake Organics!!!! My mom is a breast cancer survivor and neither of us would give money to SGK or groups like them and there are many! Glad you are shedding some light on this as steering folks to health alternatives!

    >> Reply

    • indigo+canary said on

      Thanks, Meredith!

      >> Reply

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