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Letter to Susan G. Komen organization:


Dear Ambassador Brinker, Ms. Lucero, and Ms. McGhee,


I am joining with Breast Cancer Action (BCAction) to urge you to take the following actions to prioritize women’s health over pinkwashing profits:


(1) Immediately recall Promise Me perfume from distribution and sale in order to take every precaution to protect women’s health.


I am outraged to learn that Susan G. Komen for the Cure commissioned a perfume called Promise Me to sell in the name of breast cancer. According to independent lab testing, Promise Me contains chemicals not listed on the label that: (a) are regulated as toxic and hazardous, (b) have not been evaluated for safety with humans, and (c) which have demonstrated negative health effects. One of the ingredients in Promise Me is even banned by the International Fragrance Association!


While I am pleased to hear that Komen is working with the manufacturer to reformulate Promise Me perfume, I remain deeply concerned that Komen has not taken immediate steps to ensure that women are not exposed to the chemicals of concern in Promise Me by informing women of the potential health risks. I call on Komen to adopt the highest standards and take every precaution to protect women from suspected health threats by immediately and voluntarily recalling Promise Me.


(2) Sign BCAction’s Pledge to Prevent Pinkwashing.


As a giant in the breast cancer field, I call on Komen to take every precaution when it comes to the pink ribbon products they promote. The term pinkwasher was coined by BCAction in 2002, as part of its Think Before You Pink® campaign, to describe 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 known or suspected to be linked to the disease with questionable and controversial ingredients in daily used products on the body and in the home.


The Public Has the right to know what chemicals they are using. I call on Komen to let the public know and give consumers  the facts about the dangers of these  harmful chemicals in the beauty, personal care and house holding cleaning products they are using.


Despite the progress in the breast cancer field over the last thirty years, today too many women are diagnosed with breast cancer and too many women die. We still do not know enough about the causes of breast cancer. Any organization which strives to “end breast cancer forever” must take every precaution to ensure that women are not exposed to anything which is suspected to increase the risk of breast cancer, even if direct cause-and-effect data is not yet available. In the absence of scientific consensus we need to adopt the highest standards: when in doubt, leave it out!


Please reassure me that Komen will never engage in pinkwashing. I urge Komen to sign BCAction’s Pledge to Prevent Pinkwashing, which you have already received from Breast Cancer Action.


Promise us that Komen is committed to putting patients before profits by taking every precaution  and information when it comes to all partnerships and the pink ribbon products they promote. Consumer products should be without questionable, controversial or known harmful ingredients.


Thank you for joining me in putting women’s health first.




Shelley R. Kramer

Director of the Cancer Prevention Coalition Los Angeles

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