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Influential breast cancer organisation dismisses BPA link

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Summary of story from Mother Jones, October 3, 2011

Susan G Komen for the Cure is the largest nonprofit organisation in  the world dedicated to solely eradicating breast cancer.

Famous for its fundraising races and pink gear, the foundation has been fighting breast cancer for three decades.

Yet Komen has posted statements on its website that dismiss links between the common chemical bisphenol A (BPA) and breast cancer, while funding research that explores the possible connection.

BPA is found in all manner of consumer goods, from plastic water jugs to receipts to the liners of food cans.

Critics have pointed out that Komen receives generous donations from private industries who use those same chemicals in their products, and who also downplay health concerns.

Komen president Elizabeth Thompson refuted the claims however and said: “I want to be very clear, we are not influenced at all by any subpart of any one of our funders.”

In April 2010 Komen posted an online  statement saying that BPA had been “deemed safe.”

And a more recent statement on Komen’s website about BPA, from February 2011, begins:”Links between plastics and cancer are often reported by the media and in email hoaxes.”

Komen acknowledges in its older statement that the Food and Drug Administration is doing more studies on BPA, but also says that there is currently “no evidence to suggest a link between BPA and risk of breast cancer.”

Komen’s chief scientific adviser, Dr Eric Winer, dismissed the criticisms as inflammatory.

“If a woman is particularly worried about plastics, she can avoid plastics in her life,” he said.

  1. I’d like to see Dr. Winer avoid plastics entirely. It must be incredibly difficult just about all round the world now.

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