October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month—in case you haven’t noticed, despite pink things all around you demanding your dollars. Breast Cancer Action Quebec is very skeptical of pink ribbon campaigns and the commercialization of breast cancer.

It is well known that companies try to reinforce their image and boost their bottom line by associating themselves with a good cause. But who really benefits, the cause or the company? What if the very products sold—through the promise of finding a cure—are actually contributing to the problem? BCAQc is dedicated to pursuing the answers to these questions, especially because we know that the chemicals found in the make-up and personal care products we use daily contain endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that have been linked to breast cancer.

Wondering what you can do? Read what one of our members did and get inspired!

"A few years after I finished all treatments for breast cancer ... I took up a new annual ritual - the CIBC Run for the Cure. ... And I always paid the registration fee, raised funds from friends and family. Until a few years ago when I watched the documentary film Pink Ribbons Inc. And I was stunned to learn about what the Globe and Mail referred to as ‘Pinkwashing’ and the dark side of breast-cancer philanthropy: how corporations profit so much from these “fundraising” activities. The film raised the question: does the money raised by all these Pink activities do any good at all? I decided that I would donate my money to BCAQc instead - oh, I still do the 5k Run, and still have not had to stop. But I prefer to send the equivalent of the funds I would have raised to the organization working more directly to prevent the disease on the ground."

Anonymous donor

BCAQc asks that you be particularly alert to drug companies that make money from cancer-treating drugs while also producing cancer-causing chemicals, to car manufacturers that loudly support cancer research while producing vehicles that spew cancer-causing emissions into our environment, and to cancer agencies that ignore or downplay the potential carcinogens in the thousands of environmental contaminants that surround us on a daily basis.

There is a powerful engine driving pink ribbon campaigns—a breast cancer narrative that companies are happy to align themselves with, and it goes like this: We are engaged in a highly successful battle against breast cancer; we are very close to finding a cure; survivors are the order of the day. This narrative is full of little pink lies which you can learn about by clicking here. Clearly, companies would not align themselves with a campaign that revealed the darker side of breast cancer. Therefore, BCAQc knows how important it is to set the record straight so that people learn about environmental toxicants linked to breast cancer, become rightfully angry, and join us in pressuring the Government to pass tougher chemical legislation.