ARTICLE 3) Chemical Corporations Profit Off Breast Cancer
From: Peter Montague, "The Truth about Breast Cancer," Rachel's Environment and Health Weekly, Dec. 4, 1997; Allison Sloan and Tracy Baxter, "Profiting off Breast Cancer," The Green Guide, October 1998.

Every October the sponsors of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month roll out a massive publicity campaign encouraging women to have their breasts X-rayed. The message of activities such as the Race for the Cure is a simple one: breast cancer can be beaten by pouring money into research and by getting regular mammograms.

Official propaganda for Breast Cancer Awareness Month never mentions the environmental causes of the disease. Breast cancer rates have crept up by 1 percent a year since 1940 - a period in which tens of thousands of new chemicals have been introduced into the environment.

That's bad news for women. But it's good news for the chemical and technology companies that sponsor Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The event was founded in 1985 by British multinational Imperial Chemical Industries, now known as Zeneca Group. The firm manufactures Nolvadex, the drug most often prescribed for breast cancer, and runs 11 cancer treatment centers in the United States. The company also makes acetochlor, a pesticide thought by the EPA to cause cancer.

Many of the event's other sponsors also profit from cancer. General Electric makes mammography machines, and Du Pont makes the film used in these machines. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, younger women are encouraged to get screened by those machines regularly - although exposure to X-rays, including those used in mammography, increase their chances of contracting breast cancer.

You're unlikely to learn that from Breast Cancer Awareness Month publicity, though. Zenaca has veto power over any material used to promote the event. For more information, contact the Toxic Links Coalition at 415-243-8373

Source: Eclipse, Sarasota, FL 34236, May 1999

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