Susan G. Komen For the Cure has been front and center all month long as a result of the organization pulling funding from Planned Parenthood and then reinstating it. The press looked deeply into the organization in ways it would of surely liked to avoid.
"Promise Me" Perfume
But lesser known are some of the organization’s questionable endorsements and partnerships. One product in particular is the perfume “Promise Me,” born from a partnership between Susan G. Komen For the Cure and TPR Holdings, a perfume manufacturer. TPR is donating $1 million to the foundation in return for the endorsement. The Daily Finance called some of the ingredients used in the perfume questionable, and even bordering on cancer causing.
One ingredient, galaxolide was labeled as a “fat loving” endocrine disruptor by the Environmental Working Group. While it’s been studied very little in humans, it was shown to cause cellular damage in mussels. Daily Finance even associated it with breast cancer, though my reporting didn't find the direct connection. Another ingredient, touluene has been found to be a liver intoxicant and a possible carcinogen as well as coumarin, which has been shown to be moderately toxic to the liver and kidneys and even used as a pesticide against rodents prior to its use in perfume.
Other Questionable Partnerships
Susan G. Komen For the Cure doesn’t admit that these ingredients could cause cancer or in fact any health problems, but they did promise to reformulate next year’s perfume. However, this isn’t the first time their partnerships have been called into question. Take the infamous KFC Buckets for a Cure partnership.
This alliance was obviously problematic considering that KFC produces highly caloric foods, especially their buckets of chicken. One chicken breast has 360 calories and 21 grams of fat. A thigh has 250 calories and 17 grams of fat. If you take it a step further and order the Extra Crispy formula you’re looking at 510 calories and 33 grams of fat for just one chicken breast. Fried chicken is a food that if eaten regularly makes us fat and obesity is a proven cause of breast cancer.
Susan G. Komen For the Cure has also worked with M&Ms to produce those cute circular pink candies. While sweet in appearance, they're not so sweet on the body. Not only are these chocolatey sweet treats high in calories and fat, they’re also high in sugar. And again, sugar is one of the leading causes of obesity in this nation. Recent research has shown how truly toxic it is to the body, even worse than the calories themselves. A lengthy article in The New York Times discussed the toxic truth about sugar and its link to certain kinds of cancer.
The motivation for raising large sums of money for the organization is certainly a driving force as it shines awareness on breast cancer, but Susan G. Komen For the Cure also has a responsibility to partner with and endorse products that are in no way connected with ill health and cancer itself. While they are certainly searching for the cure, they should also be fighting against its causes.