By Angela Wall, Communications Manager
Today marks the official launch of this year’s Think Before You Pink ® campaign “It’s an Epidemic, Stupid!” As we head into November’s election, we urge everyone concerned about breast cancer to demand representatives from every state support the 2012 Breast Cancer Action Mandate for Government Action. We need to move beyond “awareness” and pink ribbons to demand candidates and elected officials take real action on breast cancer, by initiating and supporting independent research and strong regulation to turn the tide on this epidemic.
Here at Breast Cancer Action we believe breast cancer should be front and center in national conversations about healthcare reform and women’s health. The federal government’s job is not only to protect those it governs from nuclear and terrorist threats but also from toxins that increase the risk of breast cancer and other diseases. However, for the last 30 years, the government has basically outsourced its responsibility for public health and breast cancer to large-scale philanthropic organization, like Komen and Avon, which are beholden to corporate funders.
At the same time, when an election comes around, many candidates seek our votes by simply wearing pink ribbons and touting empty, ‘feel good’ legislation. We will not let our government outsource its job to protect public health. We will not allow our public officials to engage in ‘political pinkwashing’ by claiming they care about breast cancer without actually initiating or supporting policy changes that significantly help women living with and at risk of breast cancer.
For the past 10 years, BCAction’s Think Before You Pink® campaign has confronted the flood of pink products sold in the name of “awareness” by highlighting the hypocrisy of the worst pinkwashers– the companies or organizations whose pink products contribute to increasing our risk of developing the disease. This year we are shifting the focus beyond individual products or companies and calling upon policymakers and elected officials to support strong regulation and independent research.
It is our government’s responsibility to monitor and regulate industry in order to protect public health. Pushing the burden of responsibility onto the shoulders of individuals is an unacceptable response to a public health crisis. Nor can we be expected to effectively address and end this epidemic by shopping our way out of this disease. As long as corporations dump pollutants into the air, the water, and the products they sell, and pharmaceutical and biotech firms prioritize profits over patients, we need government action. We need government intervention. Join us demanding your elected leaders stop political pinkwashing, uphold their unique and essential role, and endorse the 2012 Breast Cancer Action Mandate for Government Action.
Breast cancer requires more than awareness, and pink ribbons, and screening. Join us. Tell elected officials across this nation to take meaningful action to address and end this epidemic. Join us by visiting our campaign webpage to learn more, and to take action!