I wrote briefly during Domestic Violence Awareness Month that Breast Cancer Awareness Month gets a lot more notice, with pink ribbons everywhere and hundreds of products that donate some of their proceeds to help cure cancer. Something that stood out to me in a post on about all those pink ribbons was this, about Yoplait donating some of their proceeds to find a cure for breast cancer:
Yoplait yogurt is made with milk from cows that have been injected with a synthetic hormone called recombinant bovine growth hormone (referred to as rBGH or rBST). There are a number of health concerns surrounding the use of rBGH, and breast cancer is one of them.This brings me to something that bothers me about cancer societies. They all are constantly raising money for a cure, and while a cure for cancer would be a significant scientific discovery that will save many lives- why aren’t these cancer societies raising more awareness about what can contribute to CAUSING cancer? How come the Susan G. Komen Society isn’t pressuring dairy farmers to stop using bovine growth hormones in their cows? This doesn’t just tie to breast cancer- there are hundreds of carcinogens in our environment. Anti-perspirant, for example, uses aluminum, a carcinogen, to block the pores from producing sweat. There are many pesticides on fruits and vegetables, not to mention the vast array of cancer causing chemicals being found in our own water, which the New York Times is currently doing a lengthy expose on. Carcinogens are everywhere. So why aren’t more foundations that are looking for cure also working to stop letting carcinogens into our environment as much as possible? As we all know, cancer societies have a lot of power and influence on people and the media in this country, and I think using that power for this purpose would do a lot of good.
I am not implying here that every case of cancer is preventable if we all switch to organic milk and Tom’s of Maine deodorant. I know that cancer is a complicated disease that a lot of times is hereditary, and I do hope they find a cure. However, I also wish these cancer societies would wield their enormous power to make our food and environment more healthy and free of as many carcinogens as possible.