Before the clock runs out on this month’s breast cancer and GMO awareness, I’d like to point out some facts that may not be obvious to some consumers.
No doubt you’ve seen the pink ribbons all over food labels in the grocery store or on fast food products like KFC. These labels are easy to spot on packages, cups, cans, boxes, and other containers of many foods and beverages.
But there’s something else to notice too – a majority of these foods bearing the pink ribbon for cancer awareness are full of harmful, toxic ingredients. Don’t believe me? Just pick up one of these food products and have a look.
Not only are many of these ingredients indecipherable and dangerous, many of them are also from genetically-modified substances. This means they originated from a laboratory where abominations of nature take place on a regular basis: the genetic material of one species is extracted in a laboratory setting and inserted into another to achieve desired traits such as resistance to pesticides or to produce some other entirely different outcome than the organisms would normally be able to achieve – such as inserting spider genes into goats to produce silk. These are also known as transgenic organisms.
Doesn’t this seem like a contradiction?
There are many others besides food corporations such as companies and organizations who sponsor the pink ribbon campaign and donate a portion of the money to “curing cancer” – automotive, entertainment, department stores, clothing companies, jewelry companies, personal care product manufacturers, sporting goods, and the list goes on.
There are many organizations, universities, health authorities, and other entities that are undermining citizens’ rights to correct health information. Recently, Stanford University conducted a faulty study showing there is virtually no difference between conventional and organic foods. This study is false and doesn’t take into account the vast amount of toxins and chemicals used in commercial farming, all of which have been proven to affect nutritional quality and integrity of the foods grown this way, as well as the soil which is the foundation of all life on this planet.
Where does Stanford get their funding for their research? As always, follow the money. Many of their sponsors are big agricultural companies and others which have a vested interest in nullifying the importance of eating real, organic foods.
This is yet more evidence of big corporations trying to strong arm consumers into buying their toxic products and not supporting the organic and sustainable industries.
Here’s an idea: Instead of recommendations about getting mammograms and exposing women to more 1,000 times more radiation than what you can get in a chest x-ray, what if medical and health authorities provided some guidance about what could really make a difference in cancer and other disease rates – such as removing personal care chemical, and other products from households and places of business?
And, what if doctors and clinicians gave their patients sound advice about diet? To remove all sources of chemically-laden foods and beverages, and replace with real, healthy food from organic or organic-practicing sources? I ask, wouldn’t this be a more intelligent way of combating this terrible disease that is considered number …on the list of causes of death?
Incidentally, these preventative measures we are told to use actually cause cancer. Yes, you read that right. Read about how chemotherapy and radiation contribute to an increase risk in cancer. Mammograms are also linked to an increase in cancer as well since they use radiation, and radiation is cumulative in the body. Studies from Cornell University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory show how exposure to radiation actually triggers modifications in the micro-environment of the cell, which has a profound impact on future cancer development.
From Dr. Lenoard Coldwell’s site, describing how these procedures contribute to an increased cancer risk:
“The reason is that signals from a cell’s microenvironment, altered by radiation exposure, can cause a cell’s phenotype (made up of all its biochemical and physical characteristics) to change by regulating or de-regulating the way a cell uses its genes. The result can be a cell that not only becomes pre-cancerous but that passes this pre-malignant condition on to future cells.”
Cancer and GMOs
The French rat study
In September of this year, a study conducted in France revealed that rats fed GM corn developed massive tumors. Both GM corn and Monsanto’s flagship product Roundup were implicated in this study, and scientists discovered that rats exposed to even the smallest amounts of these substances showed serious kidney and liver damage, and also experienced development of mammary tumors, which occurred as early as four months in males, and seven months of age in the females.
Dr. Michael Antoniou, molecular biologist from King’s College London and member of CRIIGEN, the independent scientific council said, “This research shows an extraordinary number of tumours developing earlier and more aggressively – particularly in female animals. I am shocked by the extreme negative health impacts.”
Bovine growth hormone rGBH
The connection between cancer and GMOs is not new. From the Institute for Responsible Technology:
“Milk from rBGH-treated cows has much higher levels of IGF-1, a hormone considered to be a high risk factor for breast, prostate, colon, lung, and other cancers. IGF-1 levels in milk from treated cows with rBGH can be up to 10 times higher. Studies suggest that pre-menopausal women below 50 years old with high levels of IGF-1 are seven times more likely to develop breast cancer. Men are four times more likely to develop prostate cancer. IGF-1 is implicated in lung and colon cancer.”
Countless other studies exist showing the link between GMOs and cancer, and other disorders:
- The use of Roundup has also been connected to cancer, birth defects and other serious health issues
- Glufosinate aluminum (component of Agent Orange) is classified as a neurotoxin and causes birth defects in laboratory animals
- 2,4-D ( component in Agent Orange) causes birth defects in laboratory animals, damages DNA, and is a known endocrine disruptor. It is harmful to fish and bees.
- Aspartame has been linked to lymphoma and leukemia in human beings. Aspartame is a product that has been well-known for years as a genetically-modified product.
In the last 5 or so years, I have come to realize that these companies whose products bearing the pink ribbon and organizations promoting breast cancer awareness and other causes do so because it is a genius marketing tool which sells more products.
These companies play into the emotions of people and rely on the fact that breast cancer awareness and “prevention” such as getting a mammogram are high profile ideas and activities. And this awareness causes women everywhere to live in fear that they too will develop cancer in the future, and should take an “active” role in doing what they can to prevent something happening to them or someone they know and love.
This phenomenon is known as “pink-washing“. Like many marketing schemes, it is designed for one purpose and one alone: to make money.
Corrupt fundraising organizations
Susan G. Komen, perhaps the most well-known organization conducting fund-raising for breast cancer research has shown its colors time and time again. SGK has relentlessly been caught in case after case of fraud and misrepresenting themselves to promote awareness and a cure for cancer.
This organization that is widely heralded as a pillar in the health community does not spend one dime or campaign effort, by the way, on addressing changes in diet to eliminate toxins from our diets and lifestyles to help reduce our cancer risk.
They have denied ties to pharmaceutical companies and industry leaders such as AstraZeneca – who makes regular donations of educational grants to Komen, and to companies like G.E. – of which they own stock – who are leaders in manufacturing cancer drugs and mammography devices for “early cancer detection.”
Read The British Medical Journal’s article How a charity oversells mammography, and for a very thorough examination of how SGK spends their money, Butter Believer’s post, I will not be pink-washed: Why I won’t support Susan G. Komen for the cure.
This report from Bloomberg discusses how people who were asked to spend time doing various activities to promote various disease “cures” learned that the money they helped to raise didn’t actually go where it was intended, and felt betrayed.
In another example, from 1999 to 2011, InfoCision was hired by The American Cancer Society to gather funds to cure cancer. By 2010, $5.3 million was raised How much of that went to cancer research? None! Tax filings show that it all went to InfoCision, and the society experienced a loss for that year. Not only did they keep the entire sum, but also raked in $113,006 in fees from the society.
So the truth is, a very small portion of what is spent on these products actually goes to Susan G. Komen or other organizations claiming to raise money for breast cancer. ABC News revealed that Campbell’s Soup gave just 3.5 cents from the sale of each can of soup. In Yoplait’s pink ribbon campaign, you would have to eat 3 cups of yogurt daily for 4 months in order to raise just $36 to fight breast cancer. Money raised to go to money-hungry, powerful corporations who are day in and day out collecting money to line their own bank accounts….meanwhile, the cure for cancer remains mysteriously absent.
What can you do to counteract big agriculture, biotech, and support sustainability?
- Please support Proposition 37, California Right to Know campaign that will be voted on next week in the election and which would require mandatory labeling on GM foods in the marketplace. At least 23 other states are planning to introduce initiatives for this measure in the near future. Please keep a watch out for this coming to your own state.
- Don’t buy processed, packaged foods and other products, and support your local sustainable farmers who do things right!
- Ask your farmers questions when you buy food about safe farming practices.
Want to read more about how fundraising for disease doesn’t actually find a cure?
Does fundraising for disease pay off?
Is cheap food really cheap? The hidden costs of industrial food
13 replies on “What GMOs and Fund-Raising for Disease Have in Common”
Great post, Raine! Thorough and thoughtful as always.
Hi Alex – thank you! Are you going to the conference? If so, I hope to see you there. 🙂
Great post Raine! I know of only two people besides myself now that question the “pink ribbon” items and I don’t have enough guts to post this on FB like you did. You can see how it tricks people. Buying a box of cereal may contribute only a few cents to SGK but the consumer thinks they are doing a good deed and buys it anyway, not even questioning the ingredients inside. My aunt had breast cancer and SGK was not involved in anything. I don’t even know what they do besides collect money. Same goes for American Cancer Society’s purple things and their occasional local walk/runs and potlucks. They hand bracelets and other trinkets out by the handful for free where my dad gets chemo, but what results ever come from these events and freebies…
Hi Kristin – thanks for your comments! Yes, it’s very easy to trick people into thinking they are doing something good with clever wording and marketing lingo. Was your aunt able to get over her breast cancer? I surely hope so. There certainly is a great deal of fanfare centered around fundraising activities – marathons, runs, walks, product placement and marketing. It’s such a shame that so many people get caught up in this and the money goes nowhere. And then people become offended if the truth is pointed out. But really, we are doing the consumer public a favor by exposing the sham that is fundraising for “curing” disease. It’s high time everyone knows about this. And I think after this last year, the secret is getting out of the bag as I’ve seen dozens and dozens of posts, articles, and other documents revealing what SGK actually does with their money and how much their employees – especially the controlling ones – are bringing in annually.
Finally! Good for you, Raine! You’ve printed what I’ve been saying for years. You should see the eyebrows go up when I tell people that the Susan G. Komen foundation is counter-productive for women’s breast health. Mammograms are oh-so-harmful for healthy women so imagine what they do when someone actually has a breast tumor. Greedy, uncaring self-promoting foundations should be stopped and I for one am glad you stood up and said so.
Prevention through healthy eating and supplements is much preferable to after-the-fact diagnosis through risky diagnostic tests. Bravo!!
Hi Vicki – I am told by many people that they really *want* to make comments about just how deceptive the SGK Foundation and other fundraising outfits are, but lack the courage. I guess I just tell it like it is and I’ve always been that way. I wrote another post about this same topic a couple of years ago (well, almost 3 years now, May of 2010) and I believe it really gets people to think about what they are supporting. Fried battery-raised chicken in rancid, GMO vegetable oil helping to cure cancer? Come on. I think when you lay it out in those terms, it really does make sense. What’s great is that I see more and more posts like this on blogger’s pages, and I’m so glad people are finally gaining the courage to step up and say what needs to be said. Yes, the eyebrows go up. Let them. The more the truth is trumpeted, the more consumers will have to face the truth. Thanks so much for your comments.
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