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BREAST INTENTIONS

Inside Breast Cancer Profit Scams

October marks the beginning of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and with it a slew of pink products, from shoelaces to Snuggies. While $6 billion a year goes to breast cancer research and awareness campaigns, how much of that money is actually going into research—and how much into corporate sponsorships, ad campaigns, and merchandise deals? In the October issue of Marie Claire, Lea Goldman explores these questions, pointing out charity scams like the one pulled off by the Coalition Against Breast Cancer. Last June, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed suit against the “sham charity,” which for 15 years “served as a personal piggy bank” for the group’s insiders, who pocketed almost all of the $9.1 million they'd raised in the past five years. For those of us who are concerned about whether our donations are actually going toward research, Goldman offers a tip: “Skip the pink ribbon merchandise” which is “overrun by slick profiteers exploiting the public’s naive assumption that all pink purchases help the cause.” The sad reality is: they often don't.

September 18, 2011 7:32 AM