- 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
- 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: www.preventcancer.com
- For information on nontoxic alternative therapies: www.ralphmoss.com
Site Served by TheHostPros