February 6, 2012
By Ethan A. Huff
The media is abuzz with chatter about Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s flip-flopping on the issue of whether or not to fund Planned Parenthood, the controversial reproductive health services group that provides abortions for women, in order for it to offer breast exams and promote mammograms. But the real controversy is the fact that Komen’s mammograms, which are promoted as a “lifesaving” intervention, actually cause breast cancer.
On January 28, 2012, The Washington Post (WP) announced that Komen had decided to cut funding for Planned Parenthood because the group has been embroiled in a federal investigation as to the legitimacy of its funding. And Komen’s official policies do not permit funding for groups that are in the midst of such a controversy.
But just a few days later, the Los Angeles Times and many other media sources reported that Komen had reversed its decision and decided to continue funding Planned Parenthood after all. Apparently Komen’s policies on funding providers that are at the center of congressional investigations is a little more flexible than we all thought.
Komen’s flip-flopping on this important issue has drawn extensive criticism from both sides of the argument. But the bigger issue here, of course, and one that is not receiving any national attention, is the fact that the screening procedures endorsed and promoted by Komen do not necessarily prevent breast cancer — and in the case of mammograms, they actually cause breast cancer.
The mammograms causing breast cancer issues is one that we have addressed on many occasions here at InfoWars, but it is one that deserves repeated attention, especially since Komen is in the spotlight once again. Mammograms not only cause cancer, but they also result in many false positives that lead thousands of women every year to undergo invasive and detrimental procedures for a disease they do not actually have.
Back in 2009, for instance, a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) showed that continual low-dose radiation exposure from mammograms can cause breast cancer.
Roughly one year later, researchers from Oslo University Hospital revealed that mammograms cut the risk of dying from breast cancer by about two percent, at best, while simultaneously causing many women to be falsely diagnosed with cancer.
January 5th, 2010
The Huffington Post
By: Laura Bassett
In addition to raising millions of dollars a year for breast cancer research, fundraising giant Susan G. Komen for the Cure has a lesser-known mission that eats up donor funds: patrolling the waters for other charities and events around the country that use any variation of “for the cure” in their names.
So far, Komen has identified and filed legal trademark oppositions against more than a hundred of these Mom and Pop charities, including Kites for a Cure, Par for The Cure, Surfing for a Cure and Cupcakes for a Cure–and many of the organizations are too small and underfunded to hold their ground.
“It happened to my family,” said Roxanne Donovan, whose sister runs Kites for a Cure, a family kite-flying event that raises money for lung cancer research. “They came after us ferociously with a big law firm. They said they own ‘cure’ in a name and we had to stop using it, even though we were raising money for an entirely different cause.”
Donovan’s sister, Mary Ann Tighe, said the Komen foundation sent her a letter asking her to stop using the phrase “for a cure” in their title and to never use the color pink in conjunction with their fundraising. What bothered her most about the whole ordeal, she said, was that Komen forced her to spend money and time on legal fees and proceedings instead of raising funds for cancer.
“We were certainly taken aback by it,” she told HuffPost. “We have partners running these kite events around the country. What if one of them uses, say, magenta? Is that pink? I mean, where are we going with this? We just want to raise money for cancer. What we don’t want is to have our energy misplaced by having our charity partners trying to police the good work that we’re doing.”
Sue Prom, who started a small dog sledding fundraiser for breast cancer called “Mush for the Cure” in Grand Marais, Minn., said she was shocked to hear from Komen’s lawyers this summer asking that she change the name of her event or face legal proceedings.
“I had to call the trademark helpline, because I had no idea what I was doing,” said Prom, who runs the annual sled race with her husband and friend. “We pay for the expenses out of our pockets, and we’ve never personally made a dime from it. We have t-shirts, sweatshirts, domain names, posters, stationery, all with ‘Mush for the Cure’ on it. What do we do with all the materials now? How are we gonna defend ourselves? We’re not like Komen.”
Prom said she’s been running the event for six years, and the most she has raised for the National Breast Cancer Foundation is $25,000. Before the NBCF could accept the money, they warned her to file for a trademark to protect her event legally against the Komen Foundation. But now that Komen has opposed Mush’s trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Prom is looking for a pro bono lawyer to help her figure out what to do next.
“I think it’s a shame,” she said. “It’s not okay. People don’t give their money to the Komen Foundation and they don’t do their races and events so that Komen can squash any other fundraising efforts by individuals. That’s not what it’s about.”
Komen’s general counsel, Jonathan Blum, told HuffPost that the fundraising powerhouse tries to be reasonable when dealing with small charities and nonprofits, but that it has a legal duty to protect its more than 200 registered trademarks.
“It’s never our goal to shut down a nonprofit,” he said, “and we try very hard to be reasonable, but it’s still our obligation to make sure that our trademarks are used appropriately so there’s no confusion in the marketplace over where people’s money is going.”
Blum told HuffPost that legal fees comprise a “very small part” of Komen’s budget, but according to Komen’s financial statements, such costs add up to almost a million dollars a year in donor funds.
“I think it’s important that charities protect their brand, but on the other hand, I don’t think the donors’ intent in giving their money was to fund a turf war,” said Sandra Minuitti, a spokesperson for Charity Navigator. “It’s very important that Komen treads carefully and is very transparent about how they’re spending money on these legal battles.”
Michael Mercanti, an intellectual property lawyer, said he is surprised by the large number of oppositions Komen has filed against other charities–a number he would expect from a company like Toys”R”Us or McDonalds, but not a charitable fundraising organization.
“They seem to be very aggressive in policing their mark, or what they’re claiming to be their mark,” he told HuffPost. “I guess there are a lot of ways to captain a ship, but it seems like there are ways they could protect and police their trademarks and also allow other charities to coexist.”
Mercanti said filing hundreds of oppositions is not only damaging to other charities, but could also be counterproductive for Komen’s brand.
“They could actually be seen as being a bully,” he said. “They’re going to alienate some donors who don’t appreciate them stepping on smaller, worthwhile charities.”
With the help of a team of pro bono lawyers, Kites for a Cure was able to reach a settlement with Komen: They agreed to only use the phrase “for a Cure” in conjunction with the words “lung cancer” to make the distinction clear. But Tighe said they reached a settlement only after many, many months of a free legal team working long hours each day.
“We were very fortunate because we had strong support from knowledgeable pro bono counsel, but it did seem like a misdirection of a lot of people’s energy,” she told HuffPost. “I don’t know what smaller organizations do without free representation.”
Sue Prom said Tighe has already put her in touch with her pro bono legal team, and she is prepared to fight for the name of her sledding event in court. The ordeal has changed her opinion of Komen.
“I used to give money to Komen all the time, but now I’m just kind of wary of them,” she said. “I’m not buying Yoplait yogurt or anything that has the word ‘Komen’ on it. They seem to have forgotten what charity is about.”
April 23, 2010
by Jennifer Huget
“Help make the largest single donation to end breast cancer forever,” the campaign urges. The suggestion is that KFC will donate money — its goal is $8.5 million — to the charity at a rate of 50 cents for every special pink bucket of chicken sold over the next month.
But bear in mind that the “F” in KFC stands for “fried.” Here’s a line from the National Cancer Institute’s Web site:
“. . .studies have shown that an increased risk of developing colorectal, pancreatic, and breast cancer is associated with high intakes of well-done, fried, or barbequed meats.”
Beyond that, since obesity raises breast cancer risk, it’s worth looking at some numbers: According to the KFC Web site, an original-recipe fried chicken breast has 320 calories, 15 grams of total fat (including 3.5 grams of saturated fat); a thigh has 220 calories, 15 grams of total fat (4 of them saturated).
So, no, I don’t think that buying fried chicken by the bucket is a good way to fight breast cancer. Even the grilled-chicken option, though less caloric and fat-laden (a breast has 190 calories, 6 grams total fat and 1.5 grams saturated fat; the thigh has 150 calories, 9 grams total fat and 2.5 grams saturated fat), still fits into that “barbequed” category noted above.
So maybe you’re thinking, okay, I want to be supportive, so I’ll buy the bucket and chuck the chicken. No need. The fine print at the foot of the Web page points out that “KFC restaurant operators have contributed 50 cents to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure for each Komen branded bucket purchased by the operators from April 5, 2010-May 9, 2010….Customer purchases of KFC buckets during the promotion will not directly increase the total contribution.” (It’s also noted that KFC has guaranteed the contribution will be at least $1million. Which really is very nice.)
Notice that the promotions are careful not to mention that any purchase is necessary. They simply say that “for every pink bucket” — not the sale of every bucket — fifty cents goes to Komen. So we consumers are off the hook, really.
A 10-piece bucket of KFC fried chicken (including the sides) costs about $20. If you’re really interested in supporting Komen for the Cure’s efforts, why not just mail them a check directly? Then take a moment to vote in today’s poll!