From Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester  BCCR

Store shelves are brimming with pink items during the month of October. It can be very confusing to decide what, if anything, to buy. How do you tell if the money you spend will go to any meaningful cause? Breast Cancer Action, the self-described watchdog of the breast cancer movement, has coined the term “pinkwashing” to describe the promotion of a pink ribbon product by a company that claims to care about breast cancer but does not contribute much, if any of the profit from that product to breast cancer-related causes. In addition, many pink-ribbon products, such as perfumes containing known carcinogens, have been linked to the disease itself.

To help consumers sort through the plethora of pink ribbon products and make informed purchasing decisions, Breast Cancer Action’s Think Before You Pink campaign urges everyone to ask these critical questions before buying pink:

  1. Does any money from this purchase go to support breast cancer programs? How much?
  2. What organization will get the money? What will they do with the funds, and how do these programs turn the tide of the breast cancer epidemic?
  3. Is there a “cap” on the amount the company will donate? Has this maximum donation already been met? Can you tell?
  4. Does this purchase put you or someone you love at risk for exposure to toxins linked to breast cancer? What is the company doing to ensure that
  5. its products are not contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?

 If you have doubts about your pink ribbon purchase after reviewing these critical questions:

  1. Take action to demand pink   ribbon products don’t contain chemicals linked to breast cancer.
  2. Write a letter asking the company to be transparent about its
  3. Consider giving directly to a breast cancer organization whose work you believe is most essential to addressing the breast cancer

Source: Breast Cancer Action. For more information, go to

Reprinted with permission from Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester:

Voices of the Ribbon, Vol. 15, No. 4, Autumn 2014