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Breast Cancer Action’s “Raise a Stink!” campaign urges a halt to pinkwashing

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For immediate release

September 27th, 2011

Angela Wall, Communications Manager (415) 243-9301, x.16 awall@bcaction.org

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–Breast Cancer Action (BCAction), the respected watchdog of the breast cancer movement, today announced their “Raise a Stink!” campaign, which urges Susan G. Komen for the Cure to immediately recall their commissioned Promise Me perfume and to commit to putting patients before profits by taking every precaution when it comes to the ingredients in the pink ribbon products they promote.

BCAction warns that Promise Me contains chemicals not listed in the ingredients that are regulated as toxic and hazardous, have not been adequately evaluated for human safety, and have demonstrated negative health effects.  This is “pinkwashing!”

Pinkwashing is a term coined by BCAction in 2002 to describe a company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.

“Pinkwashing puts profits before women’s lives,” BCAction Executive Director Karuna R. Jaggar said. “We are deeply concerned that a perfume that can harm women’s health is being sold in the name of breast cancer. When women’s lives are at stake we need rigorous precautionary standards: when in doubt, leave it out!”

Independent laboratory testing conducted on behalf of BCAction identified two particularly troubling ingredients: Galaxolide is a synthetic musk that works as a hormone disruptor and is found in blood, breast milk, and even newborns; and Toluene, a potent neurotoxicant known widely as one of the toxic trio, has demonstrated a variety of negative health effects and is banned by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA).

When BCAction contacted Komen about the lab results, Komen responded saying they are working with the manufacturer to reformulate the perfume “to remove any doubt about the ingredients.”

“We welcome this initial step by Komen to ensure this product is safe,“ Jaggar said. “But we’re deeply concerned that while Komen reformulates, a pink ribbon product that may be harmful to women’s health is still in women’s homes and being sold in stores.”

BCAction’s “Raise a Stink!” campaign urges everyone to write to Komen to demand they immediately recall the perfume and sign BCAction’s “Pledge to Prevent Pinkwashing.” “Raise a Stink!” is part of Breast Cancer Action’s larger Think Before You Pink® campaign which encourages consumers to take action to stop corporations from pinkwashing, and ask critical questions about pink ribbon promotions.

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Breast Cancer Action (www.bcaction.org)― a national non-profit education and advocacy organization refuses to accept funding from pharmaceutical companies or any other organizations that profit from or contribute to the breast cancer epidemic.

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