March 22, 2012

Good Money After Bad?

Articles by Dr. Erdman are for informational purposes, and are not to be taken as specific medical advice.

How many times have you been asked to give your hard earned money to one of the hundreds of causes working towards a cure for a particular disease? It seems like we are bombarded daily with pleas for help. How many of us just blindly give to one of these organizations without even looking into how your money will be spent?

Personally, I do not agree with the medical model of research into many of the major diseases like cancer, ADD/ADHD, diabetes etc. They always place the emphasis on what drug or magic elixir can we give to people, rather than looking at how to prevent or cure diseases based on diet and naturally occurring means. That’s not to say drugs don’t have a place, but the future of health care is to not get the disease in the first place, instead of only trying to cure it once you’ve got it.

We just saw a huge scandal in the Susan G. Komen Foundation. They had a policy, already in place that said they would not give their money to any organization under federal investigation. They applied that to Planned Parenthood (it is under federal investigation), and promptly reversed their decision. Did you ask yourself how is funding Planned Parenthood a step in curing breast cancer?

Let me pick on the Pink Ribbon group, as a prime example of where to not give your money. Curing breast cancer is a noble cause to be sure, considering 1 in 8 U.S. women will be diagnosed with it at some point in their lives.

Unfortunately, this organization is really only about money, and getting lots of it. According to Charity Navigator, Komen had $390 million in assets and $312 million in revenues in the fiscal year ending March 2010. A recent article on Alter Net (February 4, 2012), written by Emily Michele, showed only 20.9% of funds are actually used for research – even though a “search for a cure” is their most advertised goal.

Here’s the kicker, they spend 39.1% on public education. That would be great if any of that education actually talked about preventive things like eating healthy foods, getting prober vitamin D3 intake to prevent cancers, or cutting out sugars that feed cancer cells. Instead they educate the public on questionable mammograms and early detection. “It is not curing breast cancer to simply be aware you could get it, nor is finding out that you have cancer and treating it in the early stages in hopes of entering remission. That’s not a cure!” says Emily Michele. I agree.

Pink Ribbons are a money maker, not a cancer cure. Komen received over $55 million in annual revenue from corporate sponsors. These health minded companies include Coca Cola, General Mills and KFC. Michele writes, “Buy a bucket of junk food, pretend as though you are helping to save lives while you slowly take your own.”

Then there are the ties to the big drug companies… It’s reported Komen Foundation owns stock of several pharmaceutical companies, including the makers of Tamoxifen, Astra Zeneca, a drug that has been found to increase risk of certain cancers. (International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, 2007). They also reportedly own stock in GE, a leading maker of mammogram machines. Their huge focus on early screening, detection and drug treatment seems to fit their financial concerns all too well, while education about the real underlying causes of cancer are ignored and missing from their campaigns.

The American Cancer Society is another of these money grabbers that have financial ties to the very companies whose drugs, pesticides, cosmetics and junk food are some of the primary contributors to cancers in our society.

Once you realize the conflicts of interest are there, it’s easy to see why these organizations rarely address the environmental components of cancer, and why avoiding these toxic exposures is not part of their campaigns.
In the case of ACS and most large charities, your money goes to create new toxic drugs, questionable screening programs like mammography, and into the bank accounts of well paid executives, all the while ignoring the study of underlying causes and intentionally concealing some very good data that point to actual cures.

Whenever these organizations ask me for money, I say “no thanks.” I don’t throw good money after bad. Even when the cause wounds just, remember that appearances may not be reality. Use your money for good food and healthy living for your family, doing all you can to prevent these diseases, so you won’t have to “cure” them.