Komen and the Pinkwashed Drill Bit: Fracking “For the Cure”

by William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed –

pink drill bit

center> (Image: Cancer awareness, Drill bit via Shutterstock; Edited: EL / TO)

Two years ago, the breast cancer organization Susan G. Komen for the Cure came desperately close to exploding itself when it announced that it was cancelling its grants to Planned Parenthood for mammograms and other medical procedures vital to women’s health. All over the country, women raised seven shades of scalding Hell over Komen’s backward priorities, and the organization took a fierce fundraising hit from which it is still attempting to recover.

Flash forward to this week, right in the middle of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Komen has once again stepped on a land mine it planted in its own path. In a PR move worthy of The Onion, it was announced this week that Komen has teamed up with Baker Hughes, one of the largest fracking concerns in the country, to paint 1,000 fracking drill bits pink in an effort they claimed will “serve as a reminder of the importance of supporting research, treatment, screening, and education to help find the cures for this disease.”

They’ve called it “Doing Our Bit for the Cure.” No, really.

The response was immediate and ferocious. The organization Breast Cancer Action denounced the Komen/Baker Hughes drill bit collaboration as “pinkwashing,” a term they originally coined which is defined as, “A company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.”

“We are outraged that as the largest breast cancer organization in the world, you are partnering with a fracking corporation that is poisoning our health,” continued Breast Cancer action in a statement. “Pink drill bits are a pinkwashing publicity stunt. Fracking is a toxic process – at least 25% of the more than 700 chemicals used in fracking are linked to cancer. By taking money from these companies and giving them permission to use your name, you are complicit in a practice that endangers women’s health. You have created a perfect profit cycle whereby Baker Hughes contributes to causing the very disease you raise money to cure. This is unacceptable to us. Our health is not for sale.”

read more…..   http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/26731-komen-and-the-pinkwashed-drill-bit-fracking-for-the-cure

Reprinted with permission