Tic tac 2

Before my diagnosis, I paid no attention to pink bows, the symbol for breast cancer awareness.  But now that I have been initiated into the pink bow sisterhood, I see pink constantly and everywhere. It is obviously a powerful marketing tool.

Water bottles,  T-shirts, hats,  and slippers are decorated with pink bows. There are pink bows on candy such as Tic Tacs and M & Ms.

Even Fleischman’s yeast packages and Morton’s salt display pink bows. The pink bows are usually accompanied by statements like: “Each purchase helps fight breast cancer” or “Purchasing this package will support efforts to find a cure for breast cancer.” Valerie, a consumer relation’s representative for Fleischman’s Yeast writes that me: “Our donation will range from a minimum of $100,000 to a maximum of $200,000 depending on the amount of registered products.” This is certainly a good contribution although she does not specify which organization that gets the donation or what the profits are on yeast envelopes sold because of the pink bow. Morton’s salt does not respond to my inquiry regarding their support of breast cancer.

I find heads of cauliflower at the grocery store – and not in the organic section, either – each wrapped in cellophane with small pink bow and a link to a web site where you can learn what the cauliflower does for the “cure.” (Presumably it contributes more than antioxidants.) Heads of broccoli come with a pink bow printed on the cellophane wraps and an assurance that Andy Boy, the grower in Salinas, CA, is in “Proud Support of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.”

Pink Bow Broccoli

7 Eleven sells boxes of donuts with pink ribbon sprinkles and 15 cents per donut goes to Susan G. Komen for breast cancer research. How much goes to diabetes prevention programs?

Delta Airlines sold $2 cans of pink lemonade on their transcontinental flight from Atlanta to San Francisco “in honor of breast cancer.” (How much did the near-bankrupt airline donate to the cause?)


The breast cancer awareness postal stamp was the nation’s first fund-raising stamp, according to the U.S. Postal Service. It cost more than the normal First-Class stamp so that net proceeds could go to the cause. Thirty percent of of the net proceeds went to the Medical Research program of the Department of Defense. Does WMD stand for Women Massively Deceived?

Well, the defense department did use the money for breast cancer research. But why the Department of Defense?   What could possibly be the link between the defense department and breast cancer? Is the defense department really the ideal department to decide who gets grants to research such an important health issue for women? Yes, there are women in our armed forces. But please, I don’t think funds from the breast cancer stamp had anything to do with women soldiers.

Once you are aware of the pink bow mania, you can not escape all the products and organizations involved in rooting for “the cure”and their promotion of  “awareness.”  You have to ask yourself, how much money is really contributed to breast cancer research, and who gets the money for doing what?

Join “Think Before You Pink” and support the fight for breast cancer prevention.  If shopping were the solution, we would already have a cure.  http://www.thinkbeforeyoupink.org/

think before u pink

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