Pinkwashing: A Pink Problem


Chicken (full of antibiotics and hormones) for the cure!

Pinkwashing: Think Before You Pink

In the past few years, there has been a huge marketing campaign to raise awareness for breast cancer. Included in the campaign are products specifically designed in the color pink. This includes clothing, accessories, beauty products and countless other items. They’ve even created pink KFC! Well not really pink KFC, but the buckets the hormone filled chicken comes in is pink…let’s cure breast cancer with poisonous chicken! Did you know the dollar amount donated to breast cancer research is but a tiny fraction of the total price?! The practice of adding pink ribbons to products containing cancer causing ingredients is referred to as “pinkwashing.”

I am all for a cure for breast cancer. This can be done naturally, sans chemotherapy and chemicals, and pink is my favorite color, but I have some serious doubts about the validity of the program when it comes to beauty products and other products (such as chicken.) I have known many people touched by this dreaded disease. Let’s take a closer look at some of the products marketed for breast cancer awareness.


Say no to pinkwashing!

My main concern is with beauty products marketed to cancer patients and survivors. Many of these “pink” products contain  hazardous chemicals, some even carcinogenic! The companies producing such products even provide them free of charge to cancer patients. Such a blatant disregard for women’s health is quite deplorable. When are these mainstream companies going to step up to the plate and admit many of their ingredients are harmful and contribute to health problems? I feel very sad that many women, especially those in a vulnerable state, are having the wool pulled over their eyes. Check out this very insightful video for another perspective on pinkwashing.

Do you think before you pink?

Stay natural..stay beautiful…go green!


Robin started her career as an educator of children and has now become an educator for adults everywhere who want to know the truth about what they put into their bodies through the skin. She is passionate about educating people to make better health and beauty choices.
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  • Renee

    Here is a related post I did almost 2 years ago with the same theme.
    Wednesday, October 22, 2008
    Hello Friends,

    Since October is Nation Breast Cancer Awareness month, I thought I would share with you how I found out how to donate effectively for breast cancer research. I have recounted many times how much I HATE being made a fool for someone else and their greed. Well, the pink ribbons and pink colored products on the market this month are mainly doing just that.

    1. Many companies that promote “pink” products actually sell products that contain the very chemicals that research has suggested causes cancer (think parabens and phthalates). Many of the major cosmetics companies with pink ribbons everywhere sell products containing these very chemicals. While these companies admit the presence of these questionable chemicals in their products, they simply say that the FDA and the scientific community have determined that these low levels [of toxins] are safe. Phthalates are used to preserve the length of time a fragrance lasts, lead makes colors last longer in lipstick, parabens help keep products on the shelf without bacterial growth and bisphenol A lined containers are clear, shatter resistant and cheap. ACTION: Check out the site for information on how you can make wise purchases and how to ask the right questions when you donate to an organization.

    2. Mammograms and monthly breast exams, while important and necessary (DO THEM) do not prevent cancer, they simply detect it so an effective treatment regimen can be arranged. You prevent cancer by not exposing yourself to known or suspected carcinogens in your food or in the air you breathe or in the products you use on the outside of your body. ACTION: Leave out the junk food and eat REAL fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Our bodies were never meant to exist on synthetic products masquerading as food. Opt for organic cosmetics from companies such as Weleda or Dr. Bronner’s or use some of the natural, homemade beauty recipes that work. If you need another copy of the recipes, let me know at takebacktour@ and I will send them to you.

    3.The scientific community is up in arms about recent research that shows that the breast cancer cell line used for the past 25 years to study and design treatments for metastatic breast cancer is actually NOT A BREAST CANCER CELL!!!!! It is actually a melanoma cell line. So people buying pink products thinking they are supporting breast cancer research that actually develops effective strategies to treat breast cancer are really upset and disappointed now. ACTION: Write, call, and e-mail your senators and congressmen to initiate legislation and disseminate government grant money to researchers that correct this mistake and stop trying to justify use of an incorrect cell model before you donate to their campaign. This is especially effective in an election year like 2008.

    4. Use your consumer power to tell companies to stop putting certain chemicals in their products. Write or call or e-mail a company to ask questions and tell them how you will not be purchasing their products. Here is a quick one. Tell Yoplait to stop using rBGH in their yogurt (rBGH (=recombinant bovine growth hormone)
    http://www.thinkbef oreyoupink. org/Pages/ TakeAction. html
    5. Eat real food. Don’t poison yourself or your kids with synthetic “food” or fake scented products. Get plenty of rest. Exercise in a fun way. Go where you can breathe fresh air. Love. Forgive. Relax (that is a hard one for me). Laugh. Love. Smile. Forgive. Love. Share love. These are effective things you can control to prevent not only cancer, but many other diseases. Stop paying for a drug to treat something YOU CAN CHANGE with a simple CHANGE for a better life. Confused. Scared. Just START with one day anyway.
    And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. Exodus 15:26
    Have a wonderful healthy day! card.pdf
    Renee Lea-Currie, Ph.D.
    “Be the change you want to see in the world”- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

  • BCAction

    What the Cluck? Tell KFC and Susan G. Komen for the Cure to stop pinkwashing!
    With their “Buckets for the Cure” campaign, KFC and Susan G. Komen for the Cure are telling us to buy buckets of unhealthy food to cure a disease that kills women. When a company purports to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribboned product, but manufactures products that are linked to the disease, we call that pinkwashing. Make no mistake–every pink bucket purchase will do more to benefit KFC’s bottom line than it will to cure breast cancer. Join us in telling KFC and Susan G. Komen for the Cure to rethink this pinkwashing partnership.

    Breast Cancer Action

  • Lynda Goldman

    Great point, Robin, and wonderful video. I agree that pink washing has gone way too far, especially from companies who create products that contribute to breast cancer. I would love to support companies that create safe products and support research into prevention.

  • Natural Organics

    Hi Lynda,

    Thanks for the compliments! I appreciate your support. We can definitely make an impact by supporting good companies.