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Think Before You Pink (No Pinkwashing, Please!)

It’s October, which means pink breast cancer awareness products are everywhere. (My own city even has a pink fire truck. Seriously.)

Like so many people, I have my own story about breast cancer and how it’s had an impact on my life (which prompted me to put together this post last year), but what really bothers me about all of this pink merchandising is that most companies that participate are profiting much more than they’re helping to support survivors. Oh, and many of these pink products actually contain ingredients that have been linked to cancer. It also doesn’t help that I’m still pretty peeved at Susan G. Komen.

Today’s post is dedicated to the pinkwashing phenomenon.

Please, before you purchase one of those bubblegum pink breast cancer awareness products, do yourself (and your friends and family who are breast cancer survivors) a favor: Read those ingredients lists. Check to see just how much of the purchase price actually goes toward research. Buyer beware, indeed.

Here are a few of the pinkwashing stories I’ve read this week:

What do you think? Will you be buying anything pink this month?

(Image via Jason Meredith)

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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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Link Love Friday: Sleeping In

                                                                                  Source: via One Plaid Aunt on Pinterest

This week, we’ve been talking about this month’s favorites, my new obsession with Una Biologicals, how coffee can energize your beauty routine and going all natural on Oct. 12. Meanwhile, I’d like to stay in bed all day. One of our dogs is sick and spent last night in the doggie hospital–I don’t think anyone slept well in our house because we’re all worried about him. Hopefully we’ll have some good news this morning!

Here’s what I’ve been reading+enjoying this week:

What are you reading+enjoying this week?

Want more Link Love Friday posts? Find them here.

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