Written By: Jayla Burton
We’re so excited about an upcoming opportunity for you to get involved with some of the core activism of Breast Cancer Action – exposing hypocrisy and pinkwashing during our annual October Think Before You Pink® campaign.
For 30 years we have challenged the pink ribbon culture that shames and blames women, and we have demanded real, systemic change to address the root causes of the breast cancer epidemic. We launched our first Think Before You Pink® campaign in 2002, transforming the way that people think and talk about breast cancer. For almost 18 years every October, thousands of activists like you have joined us in our work to dismantle the mainstream breast cancer industry by calling for more transparency and accountability from corporations, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, and government agencies. We are grateful for your activism and involvement that has led to many successes over the years – this work can’t be done without you!
Here are a few of the many highlights from over the years:
- In 2002, we coined the term pinkwashing, which is promoting a pink ribbon product while producing, manufacturing, and/or selling products that increase the risk of the disease.
- In response to our 2008 Put a Lid On It campaign Yoplait and Dannon stopped using rBGH in their yogurt resulting in removing rBGH in 2/3 of the U.S. market. A synthetic growth hormone, rBGH is associated with a possible increase in breast cancer diagnoses.
- In response to our 2011 Raise a Stink campaign Susan G. Komen discontinued their Promise Me perfume which contained carcinogens and hormone disruptors.
- During the 2012 election, in the campaign It’s An Epidemic, Stupid! we asked our elected leaders and those running for office to step up to end the breast cancer epidemic by publicly supporting the 2012 Breast Cancer Action Mandate for Government Action.
- In 2014, Baker Hughes abandoned their pink fracking drill bits in Stop The Distraction campaign. And these are only a few of our wins.
Think Before You Pink® has made huge strides to dismantle pink ribbon culture. We have highlighted critical questions that consumers should ask before purchasing pink ribbon products; called out empty awareness campaigns that distract from the real work that needs to be done; exposed conflicts of interest; and demanded that multi-million dollar pinkwashing corporations clean up their acts so fewer people are exposed to chemicals that may increase the risk of breast cancer.
The countdown to October starts now. We can’t wait for you to join us in another successful Think Before You Pink® campaign as we continue to hold all bad actors accountable, whether they use pink washing colors or platitudes of care and concern.