November 20, 2011

Cancer research charity Pink Ribbon donates zero percent to cancer research

Filed under: Health by Branko Collin @ 5:33 pm

Sometimes it is best to shut up. When news show Nieuwsuur reported that spent only 1.8 % of the donations it received on cancer, the charity threw a hissy fit. The findings of the show were far from the truth, they claimed, and the makers of the programme obviously prejudiced.

This led writer and breast cancer survivor Karin Spaink to do her own research. Last Saturday she dove into the annual reports of Pink Ribbon, and discovered that the numbers Nieuwsuur had dug up were indeed incorrect — the real numbers were worse!

According to Spaink, Pink Ribbon Netherlands has spent exactly 0.0 percent of the money it received through donations on cancer research. The foundation has collected approximately 18 million euro between 2007 and 2010. In that period it has built up a reserve of 7 million euro, and spent 3 million euro on the costs of running its organisation. About 6 million euro has gone to ‘psych-social care’, and 1.5 million euro to education.

Since the Nieuwsuur report, Pink Ribbon Netherlands has been trying to twist the meaning of the phrase ‘cancer research’ to fit its expenditures. Money that Pink Ribbon received from fellow cancer charities KWF and A Sister’s Hope and that was earmarked for research, is now suddenly supposed to count towards to its own goals.

Spaink has been critical of Pink Ribbon Netherlands before. In 2006 she lambasted the foundation for not publishing its annual reports, which it has since done. Earlier this week she criticized the whole pink ribbon phenomenon as a form of consumer indulgence.

Earlier this year activists the world over criticized the practice of ‘pinkwashing‘, where companies whose products and services increase the risk of cancer pretend to be supportive of cancer victims by donating money to Pink Ribbon.

(Photo by Clyde Robinson, some rights reserved)

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