Last week the oil and gas services company Baker Hughes announced a partnership with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation that would see Baker Hughes manufacture 1,000 pink drill bits for use in drilling oil and gas wells. While it is nice the company is donating $100,000 to breast cancer research, studies show a link between the work Baker Hughes is involved in (oil and gas exploration, fracking, pollution of our beautiful earth) and cancer. So, you know, maybe this isn’t the greatest partnership for a foundation that already has a shaky reputation for maybe being more about corporate ties than curing breast cancer.
This isn’t the first time that the Susan G. Komen Foundation has been accused of “Pinkwashing,” which is when organizations use a partnership with the foundation to promote products that may cause more harm than donating to breast cancer research would do good. Lets take a look!
Susan G. Komen’s partnership with the coal industry involved spraying down piles of coal with a pink paint that when burned pumped a carcinegenic pink smoke high up into the air raising awareness for miles.
The Ferguson Police Department attempted to improve their public image by teaming up with Susan G. Koman at the height of the riots this summer. Fifty cents were donated every time a pink tear gas canister was thrown at a protester (only 25 cents if the canister was thrown back).
The financial services industry is trying to atone for causing the global economic collapse with their partnership with Susan G. Komen. In vast warehouses owned by high frequency trading firms like Hudson River Trading and Bank of America, rows and rows of pink servers siphon millions of dollars out of the global economy everyday while promoting awareness for breast cancer research among the IT workers that sit next to them.
Even the U.S. Military is getting in on the action, though it is a state secret where and when their support of breast cancer research takes place, we do know it occasionally targets American citizens giving them a chance to do their own personal Race For The Cure.
Susan G. Komen recently also teamed up with breast cancer itself, helping the disease to shed its negative image by supporting awareness of itself. Any woman who sees this bright-pink-dyed tumor will definitely know she has breast cancer!
Editor’s Note: If you are looking to donate to breast cancer research, here are some alternatives to Susan G. Komen [We’re also linking to their Charity Navigator profiles, since that is a good site for you to know about for whenever you want to donate to anything].
It’s also important to know that the vast majority of cancer research in the U.S. is funded by the National Institute of Health and it’s always a good time to tell your state representatives you want more money going towards medical research.