American Cancer Society Boycott

The American Cancer Society (ACS) is a well-known organization that presents itself as an advocate and resource for cancer victims. The ACS is a very large organization that provides research grants, public outreach, and expert advice on matters of public health relating to cancer.
All this sounds great, but there are troubling truths about (1) who gives the ACS money, (2) what the ACS tells the public about the causes of cancer, (3) what the ACS tells the public about cancer treatment and cancer prevention, and (4) what research the ACS funds and what research the ACS blocks.
The ACS receives money from chemical companies and pharmaceutical companies and, in exchange, the ACS protects their political and economic interests. Particularly, the ACS: (1) protects the corporate polluters that cause cancer by telling the public there is no connection between environmental pollution, food additives and cancer, (2) protects pharmaceutical companies by attacking natural, non-patentable, non-pharmaceutical forms of cancer treatment. The ACS also wastes millions of dollars on excessive overhead and high salaries.
Therefore, legitimate grassroots organizations honestly trying to PREVENT cancer (e.g. The Cancer Prevention Coalition) have called for a BOYCOTT of the American Cancer Society.
The ACS is riddled with conflicts-of-interest in advocating public health. Over the last two decades, an increasing proportion of the ACS budget comes from large corporations, including the pharmaceutical, cancer drug, and chemical industries: ACS Boardmember Gordon Binder, CEO of Amgen, the world's foremost biotechnology company, with over $1 billion in product sales in 1992. Amgen's success rests almost exclusively on one product, Neupogen, a chemotherapy adjunct. As the cancer epidemic grows, sales for Neupogen continue to skyrocket. Mr. Binder profits from increasing cancer rates.
ACS Boardmember David R. Bethune, president of Lederle Laboratories, a multinational pharmaceutical company and a division of American Cyanamid Company. Bethune is also vice president of American Cyanamid, which makes chemical fertilizers and pesticides while transforming itself into a full-fledged pharmaceutical company. In 1988, American Cyanamid introduced Novatrone, an anti-cancer drug. And in 1992, it announced that it would buy a majority of shares of Immunex, a cancer drug maker. Mr. Bethune profits from increasing cancer rates and from public ignorance of the links between pollution and cancer.
ACS trustees include an executive from Glaxo-Wellcome, a manufacturer of chemotherapy drugs, and an executive from Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company with investments in cancer drugs. $100,000+ contributors to the ACS include carcinogen polluters General Electric and Dupont, and pharmaceutical companies Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Novartis, and Smith-Kline Beecham.
The ACS dismisses the relationship between environmental pollution and cancer
In 1992, the ACS issued a joint statement with the Chlorine Institute in support of the continued global use of organochlorine pesticides despite clear evidence that some were known to cause breast cancer. In this statement, ACS Vice President Clark Heath, M.D., dismissed evidence of this risk as "preliminary and mostly based on weak and indirect association." In 1993, just before PBS Frontline aired the special entitled, "In Our Children's Food," the ACS came out in support of the pesticide industry. In a damage-control memorandum sent to some forty-eight regional divisions, the ACS trivialized pesticides as a cause of childhood cancer, and reassured the public that carcinogenic pesticide residues in food are safe, even for babies. When the media and concerned citizens called local ACS chapters, they received reassurances from an ACS memorandum by its Vice President for Public Relations denying any link between cancer and pesticide residues.
The ACS's anti-prevention efforts include opposing the now-defunct 1958 Delaney Clause (which prohibited the addition to food any chemical known to cause cancer), because the law "would severely limit the use of valuable pesticides and food additives and...probably increase food costs." The ACS persists in an anti-Delaney policy, in spite of the overwhelming support for the Delaney Law by the independent scientific community. In 1977 and 1978, it opposed regulations for hair dyes that cause mammary and liver cancer in rodents. And since 1982, the ACS has insisted on unequivocal proof that a substance causes cancer in humans before taking any position on public health hazards.
In 1983, the ACS refused to join a coalition of the March of Dimes, American Heart Association, and the American Lung Association to support the Clean Air Act. Air pollutants are known to cause lung cancer. When it comes to preventing cancer, the ACS is singularly focused on 'chemo-prevention' pharmaceuticals. Tamoxifen, for example, is the ACS's primary 'prevention' effort. Tamoxifen is effective at preventing breast cancer, but it is a potent promoter of Liver cancer and uterine cancer. Tamoxifen is manufactured by one of the world's largest cancer drug companies, Astra-Zeneca. The ACS ignores pollution reduction as a method for preventing cancer.
The ACS attacks non-patentable, natural treatments for cancer in an effort to protect pharmaceutical companies from competition
The ACS has maintained a "Committee on Unproven Methods of Cancer Management" which periodically "reviews" unorthodox or alternative therapies. This Committee is comprised of "volunteer health care professionals," carefully selected proponents of orthodox, expensive, and usually toxic drugs patented by major pharmaceutical companies, and opponents of alternative or "unproven" therapies which are generally cheap, non-patentable, and minimally toxic. The ACS attacked Dr Linus Pauling for treating cancer victims with Vitamin C. Well over 100 promising alternative non-patented and nontoxic therapies have already been identified. These include hyperthemia, Tumor Necrosis Factor, (originally called Coleys' Toxin), hydrazine sulfate, laetrile, Gersons therapy and Burzynski's antineoplastons. The ACS has attacked all of them. The highly biased ACS witch-hunts against alternative practitioners is in striking contrast to its extravagant and uncritical endorsement of conventional toxic chemotherapy. This in spite of the absence of any objective evidence of improved survival rates or reduced mortality following chemotherapy for all but some relatively rare cancers. ACS corporate benefactors sell billions of dollars of chemotherapy drugs every year.
The ACS wastes and abuses charitable funds
In 1992, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that the ACS was "more interested in accumulating wealth than in saving lives." Fundraising appeals routinely stated that the ACS needed more funds to support their cancer programs, all the while holding more than $750 million in cash and real estate assets. For every $1 spent on direct service, approximately $6.40 is spent on compensation and overhead. In all ten states, salaries and fringe benefits are by far the largest single budget items, a surprising fact in light of the characterization of the appeals, which stress an urgent and critical need for donations to provide cancer services. The 5 highest paid members of ACS each received between $250-350K in compensation in 1998. Conclusion: The ACS is an industry front group and is more aptly described as a 'for-profit' organization. The ACS functions to deflect public scrutiny of chemical industry pollution, and to funnel cancer victims into costly and ineffective chemotherapy. The ACS is a cause of, not a solution for, the cancer epidemic. With a lifetime risk of breast cancer of about 1 in 8, we must demand an end to carcinogenic pollution and the nefarious politics/propaganda of the ACS and cancer industry.
For information on the REAL war against cancer:,
For information on nontoxic alternative therapies:

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