Red Cross sells your blood to the highest bidder..
Nobody disputes the value of sharing blood. But in the last 15 years, this
trading in blood has become a huge, virtually unregulated market – with no ceiling on prices, with nonprofit blood banks vying with one another for control of the blood supply, with , decisions often driven by profits and corporate politics not medical concerns.
In this marketplace, blood, a vital resource, gets less government protection than grapes or poultry or pretzels.
Dog kennels in Pennsylvania are inspected more frequently than blood banks.
donors are rarely told what happens to their blood.
“People are being fooled,” said Dr. Aaron Kellner, recently retired president of the New York Blood Center,
which buys 300,000 pints of blood a year. “ Nobody is telling them that their blood is going to us. They would be furious if they knew about it. “
NEWS FEATURES HISTORY WEIRD ENTERTAINMENT SCIENCE CRIME
THE UNTOLD TRUTH OF THE AMERICAN RED CROSS
BY KATHY BENJAMIN/OCT. 29, 2018 4:25 PM EST
The American Red Cross is an institution. It’s one of the biggest charities in the country, raking in billions every year. After any disaster you see people sharing links all over social media, begging others to donate to the Red Cross so they can get out there and help those affected.
. But the organization has a dark underbelly. Its history is full of scandal and bigotry It flat-out refused to help during one of the biggest disasters America ever faced. In the modern era, Red Cross assistance during emergencies has been called into question time and again, by everyone from watchdog groups, to politicians, to the people they were supposed to help, to their own volunteers. There are also serious questions about what exactly they do with donations, and why their employees steal them all the damn time.
This list just might convince you that after the next disaster, your precious dollars would be better off with a different charity.
IT STARTED OUT AS AN INEFFICIENT, SCANDAL-RIDDEN CULT OF PERSONALITY
Clara Barton was a celebrity in her own time. She was a nurse during the Civil War and later gained fame by giving lectures about her experiences. Barton had been introduced to the Red Cross when she went to Europe to help out in the Franco-Prussian War. She was impressed and finally got her own version in 1881.
It was very much her organization. Barton was its first president, and H-Net says the American Red Cross was “indistinguishable” from its founder in the early years. This didn’t have to be a problem, She insisted on actually being present when aid was delivered, refusing to delegate even basic distribution efforts to subordinates. but Barton held the reins with an iron fist. If Barton wasn’t there, people didn’t get help. It also meant they could only take on one disaster at a time, so if a flood and hurricane happened at the same time, bummer. Because of this, the Red Cross was regularly outperformed by other relief organizations.
Soon the American Red Cross was little more than a “cult of personality.” It was less a national institution and more a “personal mission” of Barton’s, based on her own “intimate outreach.” On top of this, Barton would be ousted in what amounted to it was “by existing standards lackluster in its financial management and relief administration, and was frequented by scandal.” a coup in 1904.
THE GREAT 1927 FLOOD WAS A RACIST CATASTROPHE
The Great 1927 Flood was a huge natural disaster in Louisiana and Mississippi, so of course the American Red Cross swooped in to help. Because of the location of the flood, it disproportionately affected African-Americans, The Red Cross took the Southern racial discrimination of Jim Crow and multiplied it. but the people who should have been helping them decided to let their racist flag fly instead.
According to Lake Forest College, blacks “endured systematic abuse by the Red Cross.” People who had been displaced were housed in refugee camps run by the organization, but African-Americans were separated into “the dirtiest and the most dangerous” areas. They were not allowed to come and go freely, reports National Geographic, and if they tried guards threatened to shoot them. The only time the men were allowed to go anywhere was to work on building the levees back up, and they had no choice on that. If they didn’t do this backbreaking work for free, their families would no longer get rations.
Not that the rations were that great anyway. . When special food came in, like canned peaches, blacks weren’t given any at all, because The Red Cross gave food to white refugees first and whatever was left was given, in much smaller portions, to the African-Americans the Red Cross thought it would “spoil them” and “teach them a lot of expensive habits.” One historian said t he camps set up theoretically to help these people were nothing more than slave camps.
THE GREAT DEPRESSION WASN’T THE RIGHT KIND OF DISASTER
By the time the Great Depression hit, the Red Cross was firmly established in America and had helped during innumerable emergencies. Considering people were starving to death and innocent children were malnourished, it would seem like the perfect time for the American Red Cross to step in, set up some soup kitchens, and save some lives. But it didn’t.
As far back as 1921, according to the Capital Research Center, the organization adopted a policy that assisting those out of work was not part of their remit since they had no way of knowing if that person was jobless because of “hard luck” or if they “willfully or maliciously” chose not to work.
Surely, the stock market crash and resulting economic issues would indicate that the millions of people out of work and starving were not just lazy, but the Red Cross held firm. Lumen Learning says Chairman John Barton Payne declared that mass unemployment was not an “Act of God” (like a flood or earthquake) One historian records that but an “Act of Man,” therefore it was “definitely outside the Red Cross field.” the vice-chairman even called it a “menace to the future of the Red Cross to become involved in the unemployment question.” America noticed, and the Red Cross came in for a lot of criticism at the time. Meanwhile, religious organizations, the Elks Club, even random groups of college students provided hungry people with food.
THEY SEGREGATED BLOOD DONATIONS
People turned out in droves, including Sylvia Tucker, who went to her local Red Cross donation center just a few days after the attack. She’d been moved by the “soul-stirring” appeals and like any patriotic citizen she wanted to do her part to help. After Pearl Harbor, the Red Cross put out repeated desperate calls for Americans to donate blood. According to PBS, she was turned away. Her blood was fine, but her skin color was not. All local chapters had received orders from the national office that “barred Negro blood donors.” Across the country, black donors were rejected.
But need was greater than racism, and within months this policy was dropped. That didn’t mean the Red Cross didn’t still discriminate, though. African-Americans were welcome to give, but their blood would only go to help other African-Americans. Blood donations were completely segregated. No one wanted a poor wounded white soldier somewhere in Europe worrying that the live-saving red stuff being pumped into him originally came from a black person.
This racism was especially weird since the head of the American Red Cross’s pilot blood program at the time was an African-American scientist, Dr. Charles Drew. Plus Nazis had their own “Aryan-only blood policy,” and the U.S. was supposedly better than them. Red Cross blood would remain segregated nationally until 1950, and branches in Southern states kept it up even longer, until the freaking 1970s in some cases.
THEY REFUSED TO TEST BLOOD FOR HIV DURING THE AIDS CRISIS
Since the American Red Cross was a huge source of that blood, there was a demand for testing. So in 1983, according to the LA Times, they released a joint statement with the American Association of Blood Banks and the Council of Community Blood Centers, declaring, During the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, one of the ways people could contract HIV and AIDS was through blood transfusions. “The presently available medical and scientific evidence that AIDS can be spread by blood components remains incomplete.” Testing for HIV was rejected.
This was ridiculous, since the CDC had already announced their evidence that “the disease posed a serious threat to the blood supply.” And Red Cross internal memos from the time clearly show they knew “the available evidence strongly suggests that AIDS is transmissible” through blood. The organization simply didn’t want to do the tests because they thought they cost too much. Instead, they just banned all gay men from donating.
The government followed their lead, and this discriminatory policy would be in place until 2015. Since then, gay men can donate if they have been celibate for a year. Now that testing is dirt cheap, the Red Cross has changed its tune and wants all restrictions lifted. But they still have issues with their blood. In 2008, the Red Cross was fined $4.6 million for failing to properly screen blood.
THEY HAVE SERIOUSLY SCREWED UP THE BIGGEST MODERN DISASTERS
While the Red Cross has undoubtedly helped during modern disasters, According to NBC News, every response also throws up dozens of legitimate criticisms. after 9/11, the American Red Cross’s own CEO compared their “compassion centers” to Ellis Island, where traumatized people were initially treated callously and volunteers stood around doing nothing, comforting no one. Despite having plenty of blood available already, the Red Cross appealed for donations for a week. Of the 475,000+ units that were generously given, just 258 were used. (The rest was destroyed.)
The Red Cross’s Hurricane Katrina response was particularly bad, reports the New York Times. Even two days after the storm hit they had failed to open any shelters in the hardest hit areas, including New Orleans. There were complaints about racial insensitivity and “nonexistent” aid. One local politician called the Red Cross his “biggest disappointment,” and one woman who had been volunteering for them since 1969 was so disgusted she quit.
Hurricanes Sandy and Isaac were also utter shambles. ProPublica found that internal memos asked for assets to be diverted from disaster relief to “public relations purposes.” During Isaac, supervisors had dozens of empty relief trucks drive around “just to be seen.” After Sandy, emergency vehicles were pulled out of active service to be used as backdrops during Red Cross press conferences. Failure to follow basic procedures in their shelters meant sex offenders were “all over,” including in children’s areas. They lacked basic supplies like blankets. Food was simply thrown out. And so, so much more. (During all of these disasters, witnesses saw the Red Cross discarding donations because they were not processed or purchased by the Red Cross, they were seen withholding food and water that was readily available, withholding it even from children. People were turned away from shelters or held against their will. People volunteering to help, or to bring food to the victims, were turned away.)
THEIR HANDLING OF DONATIONS IS EXTREMELY CONTROVERSIAL
The American Red Cross claims they put 91 cents out of every dollar donated toward relief efforts, but evidence says this is B.S.
Now, there is no “right” percentage of donations for a charity to put toward its running costs. Charities.org suggests many charities could stand to spend more on overhead to become healthier. But regardless, all charities should be upfront about the actual numbers, and it appears the American Red Cross isn’t.
Various investigations have found according to USA Today. One in-depth report found that since 2014, the Red Cross spends “as much as 25% of donations on administrative, promotional and overhead costs,” the charity spent “just a small fraction of its money on its high-publicity disaster relief programs.” Even one of the Red Cross’s own representatives admitted they use a not-straightforward way to get that 91 cents figure.
NPR reported after the 2010 Haitian earthquake, the charity spent 25 percent of donations ($125 million) on internal expenses, The resulting government report said, then lied about it to the public and congressional investigators. “There are substantial and fundamental concerns about [the Red Cross] as an organization.” Even five years after the earthquake, it was impossible to tell where the For example, $500 million raised had gone. in all that time they had only built six permanent houses.
The Red Cross also misleads about what tragedy your donations will go toward. They raised over $500 million in the month after 9/11 but put aside half that money for “future disasters” instead of actually helping people right then.
THEY HAVE ENDEMIC MONEY MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS
You might think you’d never get rich working for the Red Cross, what with it being a charity and all, but you aren’t taking into account the vast sums of money you, and seemingly every other employee, would be stealing.
Here’s just a tiny, tiny sample: A Pennsylvania Red Cross office manager stole $16,000 in donations to feed her crack habit. The director of emergency services for one West Virginia chapter skimmed $30,000 for himself. A California finance manager took $110,000 before she was caught. A Connecticut employee embezzled over $500,000 by overpaying herself for years. The biggest theft to date (that we know about) was a duo in New Jersey who helped themselves to more than $1 million and spent it buying each other presents and gambling.
CBS News says this is because the local chapters pull the strings, and the Red Cross national headquarters has “little control” over the money. Local branches control most of the donations and don’t give headquarters details of their finances. Not surprisingly, they resist all attempts at tighter financial control at the national level. CBS News also reported that theoretically to help disaster victims, 9/11 exposed the fact that the charity’s National Disaster Fund was a “leaky piggy bank,” which local chapters could dip into any time they wanted, but there was absolutely no oversight to make sure that actually happened. Employees could have simply been taking the money with slim chances of getting caught. (This is why I always say, Charity should be more personal and face It should be local. People giving to those around them. Where you can see the results first hand. That way it blesses both the receiver and the giver. It cuts out the middle man and any “administrative costs”, and reduces theft and corruption.)
THEIR RECENT MANAGEMENT HAS BEEN A DISASTER
It’s no surprise the American Red Cross is having serious issues, considering some of their recent CEOs. One was forced to resign over her mismanagement of 9/11 relief efforts. Another served for just six months before it was revealed he was having an extramarital affair with a subordinate and had gotten her pregnant. A former AT&T executive was appointed in his place in 2008, and she said there would be “a Red Cross location in every single community,” according to Digg. Instead, she slashed payroll by a third, getting rid of thousands of jobs and closing hundreds of chapters.
One wrote on a Red Cross Facebook group in 2015, Many long-term volunteers were so disgusted they left in protest. “It is time for our leadership to go. We have squandered a century of public trust, goodwill and support in ten years.”
The loss of money and qualified volunteers of course affected their ability to help people. When a wildfire swept through three California counties in 2015, Red Cross efforts to help were so subpar that local officials kicked them out. It was probably no coincidence that they’d closed numerous chapters in that exact area the previous year. And the amount a family would get in aid if their house burned down was cut almost in half.
The blood business lost $100 million in 2014, their CPR classes also lost money, and for many years the whole charity ran a huge deficit. Yet all the top managers still got their bonuses.
THE ANTI-RED CROSS MOVEMENT IS GROWING
As the pile of epic American Red Cross disasters grows, people are starting to notice, and momentum is growing to start sending donations elsewhere.
An op-ed in the State informs you Slate says the Red Cross “has proven itself unequal to the task of massive disaster relief.” Gawker, showing the rigorous journalistic integrity it was always known for summed it up simply: “the Red Cross simply isn’t a responsible steward of other people’s money.” ” Vibe reports a If you were considering donating to the Red Cross after a disaster, “F*ck that.” You can’t miss the Stranger’s emphatic declaration that if someone tells you to give money to the Red Cross, “DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM. And Houston City Council member called donating to them a “waste of money.” USA Today highlighted the growing trend on social media of people urging others to pick a different charity. They are far from the only ones.
As Slate says, “ Some people get personally offended by talk like this. … They are being generous, and they hope it might help.” I t’s not nice to hear that money you’ve given in the past went to waste. Or that it was a mistake to point your friends and family to the American Red Cross donation page. But you didn’t know then. Now you can do your own research into charities during a disaster, and pick a more successful, more deserving one to generously give you hard-earned dollars to.
Read More: https://www.grunge.com/136639/the-untold-truth-of-the-american-red-cross/?utm_campaign=clip
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Live Action has been conducting multi-state investigations of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry since 2007. These investigations and subsequent public education campaigns have revealed malfeasance, lawlessness, and contempt for human life and safety at all levels of the organization, from the local counselors and nurses all the way up to the CEO’s desk.
Trough staffrings and organization-wide “retraining” regimens, even Planned Parenthood itself has confirmed the le gitimacy of Live Action’s findings (1). Meanwhile, state and federal responses to Live Action’s exposés include criminal investigations (2), abortion center de-licensing (3), and the loss of over $71 million in taxpayer funding (4).
Six years of undercover investigations and reporting by Live Action show that Planned Parenthood facilities consistently engage in the following:
In light of these continued ofenses and criminal acts by Planned Parenthood, Live Action urges local, state, and
federal authorities, in the interest of justice, to take the following measures:
The Following is the brief Overview of Planned Parenthood from this PDF. You can view all of their findings by viewing the PDF: CLICK HERE
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is the largest and oldest abortion business in the nation. Originally founded by Margaret Sanger in 1916 to promote eugenics – through which “selective breeding,” only those deemed “fit” to reproduce may have children – Planned Parenthood has grown to become the dominant corporation of the abortion industry and lobby.
Planned Parenthood, through over 80 affiliates, operates more than 700 facilities nationwide. Over 40% of those , and those facilities perform surgical or medical abortions facilities that cannot perform abortions themselves all refer to nearby Planned Parenthood facilities that can. Planned Parenthood boasted committing 327,166 abortions – about a third of the national total – in FY 2011-2012, the latest year with available data.
At a low-estimate average price of $451 per procedure, abortion accounts for nearly $150 million in annual revenue for Planned Parenthood. This is nearly half of the $320 million Planned Parenthood generates from its Overall, Planned facilities’ operations each year. Parenthood has a $1.2-billion annual budget, about 45% of which comes from government funding. Tat is $541 million in the last reported year, or over $1.5 million a day in the form of taxpayer funds to the biggest abortion corporation in America.
Planned Parenthood lobbies against every possible law – from bans on sex-selective abortion to increased waiting periods before an abortion can be committed – that might curtail “abortion rights,” through all nine months of pregnancy, at taxpayer expense. Meanwhile, the organization shows little respect even for the laws currently on the books, from various state mandatory
reporting requirements for suspected statutory rape to the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002.
Out of the pockets of taxpayers, and upon the broken bodies of pre-born children Planned Parenthood has built an abortion empire masked in the moderate facade of a mainstream medical provider. Planned Parenthood’s size, resources, and public image make it the most potent propagator of legal abortion in America. Therefore, stopping Planned Parenthood is a critical step to ending abortion.
*This article is based on Chapter 16 and 18 of 1998, East Ridge press, Fremont Center, New York 12736 (1-800-269-2921). For a more detailed text and citations, see “American Cancer Society: The World’s Wealthiest ‘Non-profit’ Institution,” International Journal of Health Services 29(3): 565-578, 1999. THE POLITICS OF CANCER REVISITED,
The American Cancer Society (ACS), the world’s wealthiest “non-profit institution”, Together with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the ACS has failed to provide Congress, regulatory agencies and the public with the strong body of scientific evidence clearly relating the escalating incidence of non-smoking related cancers to involuntary and avoidable exposures to industrial carcinogens in air, water, the workplace, and consumer products – – food, cosmetics and toiletries – – so that appropriate corrective and legislative regulatory and action has not been taken. Nor have citizens been provided with available information to protect themselves against avoidable cancer risks. is fixated on damage control – screening, diagnosis and treatment, – and genetic research, with indifference or even hostility to cancer prevention. As such, the ACS bears a heavy responsibility for the current cancer epidemic, with lifetime risks now approaching one in two for men and one in three for women. These concerns are further compounded by incestuous conflicts of interest, apart from serious financial irregularities.
Track Record on Prevention
Marching in lockstep with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in its “war” on cancer is its “ministry of information,” the ACS. With powerful media control and public relations resources, the ACS is the tail that wags the dog of the policies and priorities of the NCI. In addition, the approach of the ACS to cancer prevention reflects a virtually exclusionary “blame-the-victim” philosophy. I t emphasizes faulty lifestyle rather than unknowing and avoidable exposures to workplace or environmental carcinogens. Giant corporations, which profit handsomely while they pollute the air, water, and food with a wide range of carcinogens, are greatly comforted by the silence of the ACS.
Indeed, despite promises to the public to do everything to “wipe out cancer in your lifetime,” the ACS fails to make its voice heard in Congress and the regulatory arena. This history of ACS unresponsiveness is a long and damning one: Instead, the ACS has repeatedly rejected or ignored opportunities and requests from Congressional committees, regulatory agencies, unions, and environmental organizations to provide scientific testimony critical to legislate and regulate a wide range of occupational and environmental carcinogens.
In 1971, when studies unequivocally proved that diethylstilbestrol (DES) caused vaginal cancers in teenaged daughters of women administered the drug during pregnancy, the ACS refused an invitation to testify at Congressional hearings to require the FDA to ban its use as an animal feed additive.
In 1977 and 1978, the ACS opposed proposed regulations for hair coloring products that contained dyes known to cause breast and liver cancer in rodents in spite of the clear evidence of human risk.
In 1977, the ACS called for a Congressional moratorium on the FDA’s proposed ban on saccharin and even advocated its use by nursing mothers and babies in “moderation” despite clear-cut evidence of its carcinogenicity in rodents. This reflects the consistent rejection by the ACS of the importance of animal evidence as predictive of human cancer risk.
In 1977 and 1978, the ACS opposed proposed regulations for hair coloring products that contained dyes suspected of causing breast cancer. In so doing, the ACS ignored virtually every tenet of responsible public health as these chemicals were clear-cut liver and breast carcinogens.
In 1978, Tony Mazzocchi, then senior representative of the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers International Union, stated at a Washington, D.C. roundtable between public interest groups and high-ranking ACS officials: “Occupational safety standards have received no support from the ACS.”
In 1978, Congressman Paul Rogers censured the ACS for doing “too little, too late” in failing to support the Clean Air Act.
In 1982, the ACS adopted a highly restrictive cancer policy that insisted on unequivocal human evidence of carcinogenicity before taking any position on public health hazards. Accordingly, the ACS still trivializes or rejects evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals, and has actively campaigned against laws (the 1958 Delaney Law, for instance) that ban deliberate addition to food of any amount of any additive shown to cause cancer in either animals or humans. The ACS still persists in an anti-Delaney policy, in spite of the overwhelming support for the Delaney Law by the independent scientific community.
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.
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, Society Vice President Clark Heath, M.D., dismissed evidence of this risk as “preliminary and mostly based on weak and indirect association.” Heath then went on to explain away the blame for increasing breast cancer rates as due to better detection: “Speculation that such exposures account for observed geographic differences in breast cancer incidence or for recent rises in breast cancer occurrence should be received with caution; more likely, much of the recent rise in incidence in the United States . . . reflects increased utilization of mammography over the past decade.”
In 1992, in conjunction with the NCI, the ACS aggressively launched a “chemoprevention” program aimed at recruiting 16,000 healthy women at supposedly “high risk” of breast cancer into a 5-year clinical trial with a highly profitable drug called tamoxifen. This drug is manufactured by one of the world’s most powerful cancer drug industries, Zeneca, an offshoot of the Imperial Chemical Industries. The women were told that the drug was essentially harmless, and that it could reduce their risk of breast cancer. What the women were not told was that tamoxifen had already been shown to be a highly potent liver carcinogen in rodent tests, and also that it was well-known to induce aggressive human uterine cancer.
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: “The primary health hazards of pesticides are from direct contact with the chemicals at potentially high doses, for example, farm workers who apply the chemicals and work in the fields after the pesticides have been applied, and people living near aerially sprayed fields. . . . The ACS believes that the benefits of a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables far outweigh the largely theoretical risks posed by occasional, very low pesticide residue levels in foods.”
In September 1996, the ACS together with a diverse group of patient and physician organizations, filed a “citizen’s petition” to pressure FDA to ease restrictions on access to silicone gel breast implants. What the ACS did not disclose was that the gel in these implants had clearly been shown to induce cancer in several industry rodent studies, and that these implants were also contaminated with other potent carcinogens such as ethylene oxide and crystalline silica.
In “Cancer Facts & Figures, 1998,” the latest annual ACS publication designed to provide the public and medical profession with “Basic Facts” on cancer — other than information on incidence, mortality, signs and symptoms, and treatment — there is little or no mention of prevention. Examples include: no mention of dusting the genital area with talc as a known cause of ovarian cancer; no mention of parental exposure to occupational carcinogens as a major cause of childhood cancer; and no mention of prolonged use of oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy as major causes of breast cancer. For breast cancer, ACS states: “Since women may not be able to alter their personal risk factors, the best opportunity for reducing mortality is through early detection.” In other words, breast cancer is not preventable in spite of clear evidence that its incidence has escalated over recent decades, and in spite of an overwhelming literature on avoidable causes of this cancer. In the section on “Nutrition and Diet,” no mention at all is made of the heavy contamination of animals and dairy fats and produce with a range of carcinogenic pesticide residues, and on the need to switch to safer organic foods.
This abysmal track record on prevention has been the subject of periodic protests by both independent scientists and public interest groups. A well publicized example was a New York City January 23, 1984 press conference, sponsored by Dr. Samuel S. Epstein and the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The press release stated:
A group of 24 scientists charged that the ACS was doing little to protect the public from cancer-causing chemicals in the environment and workplace. The scientists urged ACS to revamp its policies and to emphasize prevention in its lobbying and educational campaigns.
The scientists, who included Matthew Meselson and Nobel laureate George Wald, both of Harvard University; former OSHA director Eula Bingham; Samuel Epstein; and Anthony Robbins, past president of the American Public Health Association, strongly criticized the ACS for insisting on unequivocal human proof that a substance is carcinogenic before it will recommend its regulation.
Bloated Operating Budgets and Misallocations:
According to James Bennett, professor of economics at George Mason University and recognized authority on charitable organizations, The ACS is accumulating great wealth in its role as a “charity.” the ACS held a fund balance of over $400 million with about $69 million of holdings in land, buildings, and equipment in 1988. Of that money, the ACS spent only $90 million — 26 percent of its budget– on medical research and programs. The rest covered “operating expenses,” including about 60 percent for generous salaries, pensions, executive benefits, and overhead. By 1989, the cash reserves of the ACS were worth more than $700 million. In 1991, Americans, believing they were contributing to fighting cancer, gave nearly $350 million to the ACS, 6 percent more than the previous year.
By 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.
A 1992 article in the Wall Street Journal by Thomas DiLorenzo, professor of economics at Loyola College and veteran investigator of nonprofit organizations, revealed that the Texas affiliate of the ACS owned more than $11 million worth of assets in land and real estate, as well as more than fifty-six vehicles, including eleven Ford Crown Victorias for senior executives and forty-five other cars assigned to staff members. Arizona’s ACS chapter spent less than 10 percent of its funds on direct community cancer services. In California, the figure was 11 percent, and under 9 percent in Missouri.
Thus for every $1 spent on direct service, approximately $6.40 is spent on compensation and overhead. a surprising fact in light of the characterization of the In all ten states, salaries and fringe benefits are by far the largest single budget items, appeals, which stress an urgent and critical need for donations to provide cancer services. Nationally, only 16 percent or less of all money raised is spent on direct services to cancer victims, like driving cancer patients from the hospital after chemotherapy, and providing pain medication.
Most of the funds raised by ACS go to pay overhead, salaries, fringe benefits, and travel expenses of its national executives in Atlanta. They also go to pay Chief Executive Officers, who earn six-figure salaries in several states, and the hundreds of other employees who work out of some 3,000 regional offices nationwide. The typical ACS affiliate, which helps raise the money for the national office, spends more than 52 percent of its budget on salaries, pensions, fringe benefits, and overhead for its own employees.
Salaries and overhead for most ACS affiliates also exceeded 50 percent, although most direct community services are handled by unpaid volunteers. DiLorenzo summed up his findings by emphasizing the hoarding of funds by the ACS.
If current needs are not being met because of insufficient funds, as fund-raising appeals suggest, why is so much cash being hoarded? Most contributors believe their donations are being used to fight cancer, not to accumulate financial reserves. More progress in the war against cancer would be made if they would divest some of their real estate holdings and use the proceeds — as well as a portion of their cash reserves — to provide more cancer services.
Aside from high salaries and overhead, most of what is left of the ACS budget goes to basic research and research into profitable patented cancer drugs.
The current budget of the ACS is $380 million and its cash reserves approach one billion dollars. and lament the lack of available money for cancer research, while ignoring efforts to prevent cancer by phasing out avoidable exposures to environmental and occupational carcinogens. Yet its aggressive fund-raising campaign continues to plead poverty Meanwhile, the ACS is silent about its intricate relationships with the wealthy cancer drug, chemical, and other industries.
A March 30, 1998 Associated Press Release has shed unexpected light on questionable ACS expenditures on lobbying. National Vice President for federal and state governmental relations Linda Hay Crawford admitted that the She also admitted that over the last year, the society used 10 of its own employees to lobby. “For legal and other help, it hired the lobbying firm of Hogan & Hartson, whose roster includes former House Minority Leader Robert H. Michel (R-IL).” ACS was spending “less than $1 million a year on direct lobbying.” The ACS lobbying also included $30,000 donations to Democratic and Republican governor’s associations. “We wanted to look like players and be players,” explained Crawford. This practice, however, has been sharply challenged. The AP release quotes the national Charities Information Bureau as stating that it “does not know of any other charity that makes contributions to political parties.”
Tax experts have warned that these contributions may be illegal, as charities are not allowed to make political donations. Marcus Owens, director of the IRS Exempt Organization Division also warned that: “The bottom line is campaign contributions will jeopardize a charity’s exempt status.”
Conflicts of Interest
In the past most ACS funds have come from public donations, However, over the last two decades, an and high-profile fund raising campaigns such as the springtime daffodil sale and the May relay races. increasing proportion of the ACS budget comes from large corporations, including the pharmaceutical, cancer drug, telecommunications, and entertainment industries. In 1992, the American Cancer Society Foundation was created to allow the ACS to actively solicit contributions of more than $100,000. However, a close look at the heavy-hitters on the Foundation’s board will give an idea of which interests are at play and where the Foundation expects its big contributions to come from.
The Foundation’s board of trustees included corporate executives from the pharmaceutical, investment, banking, and media industries. Among them:
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 herbicides 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.
Multimillionaire Irwin Beck, whose father, William Henry Beck, founded the nation’s largest family-owned retail chain, Beck Stores, which analysts estimate brought in revenues of $1.7 billion in 1993.
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, which is administered to chemotherapy patients to stimulate their production of white blood cells. As the cancer epidemic grows, sales for Neupogen continue to skyrocket.
George Dessert, famous in media circles for his former role as censor on the subject of “family values” during the 70s and 80s as CEO of CBS, and now Chairman of the ACS board.
Alan Gevertzen, chairman of the board of Boeing, the world’s number one commercial aircraft maker with net sales of $30 billion in 1992.
Sumner M. Redstone, chairman of the board, Viacom Inc. and Viacom International Inc., a broadcasting, telecommunications, entertainment, and cable television corporation.
The results of this board’s efforts have been very successful. A million here, a million there –much of it coming from the very industries instrumental in shaping ACS policy, or profiting from it.
The Cancer Drug Industry
The intimate association between the ACS and cancer drug industry, with current annual sales of about $12 billion, is further illustrated by the unbridled aggression which the Society has directed at potential competitors of the industry.
Just as Senator Joseph McCarthy had his “black list” of suspected communists and Richard Nixon his environmental activist “enemies list,” so too, the 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. ACS has maintained a “Committee on Unproven Methods of Cancer Management” which periodically “reviews” unorthodox or alternative therapies.
Periodically, the Committee updates its statements on “unproven methods,” which are then widely disseminated to clinicians, cheerleader science writers (such as Jane Brody, Gina Kolata, and Natalie Angier of the New York Times), and the public. Once a clinician or oncologist becomes associated with “unproven methods,” he or she is blackballed by the cancer establishment. Funding for the accused “quack” becomes inaccessible, followed by systematic harassment.
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.
In response to pressure from People Against Cancer, a grassroots group of cancer patients disillusioned with conventional cancer therapy, in 1986 some 40 members of Congress requested the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), a Congressional think tank, to evaluate available information on alternative innovative therapies. While initially resistant, OTA eventually published a September 1990 report (available online at: http://www.wws.princeton.edu/~ota/disk2/1990/9044_n.html ) that identified some 200 promising studies on alternative therapies. OTA concluded that NCI had “a mandated responsibility to pursue this information and facilitate examination of widely used ‘unconventional cancer treatments’ for therapeutic potential.”
Yet, until very recently, the ACS and NCI remained resistant, if not frankly hostile, to OTA’s recommendations. In the January 1991 issue of its Cancer Journal for Clinicians ACS referred to the Hoxsey therapy, a nontoxic combination of herb extracts developed in the 1940s by populist Harry Hoxsey, as a “worthless tonic for cancer.” However, a detailed critique of Hoxsey’s treatment by Dr. Patricia Spain Ward, a leading contributor to the OTA report, concluded just the opposite: “More recent literature leaves no doubt that Hoxsey’s formula does indeed contain many plant substances of marked therapeutic activity.”
Nor is this the first time that the Society’s claims of quackery have been called into question or discredited. A growing number of other innovative therapies originally attacked by the ACS have recently found less disfavor and even acceptance. These include hyperthemia, Tumor Necrosis Factor, (originally called Coleys’ Toxin), hydrazine sulfate, and Burzynski’s antineoplastons. Clearly, such treatments merit clinical testing and evaluation by the NCI using similar statistical techniques and criteria as established for conventional chemotherapy. However, while FDA has approved approximately 40 patented drugs for cancer treatment, it has still not approved a single non-patented alternative drug. Well over 100 promising alternative non-patented and nontoxic therapies have already been identified.
Subsequent events further isolated the ACS in its fixation on orthodox as opposed to complementary alternative treatments. Bypassing the ACS and NCI, the National Institutes of Health in June 1992 opened a new Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) for the investigation of unconventional treatment of cancer and other diseases. Leading proponents of conventional therapy were invited to participate. ACS refused. NCI grudgingly and nominally participated while actively attacking alternative therapy with its widely circulated Cancer Information Services. Meanwhile, NCI’s police partner, the FDA has used its enforcement authority against distributors and practitioners of innovative and nontoxic therapies.
In an interesting recent development, the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, D.C. held a two day conference on “Comprehensive Cancer Care: Integrating Complementary and Alternative Medicine.” According to Dr. James Gordon, President of the Center and Chair of the Program Advisory Council of the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine, the object of the conference was to bring together practitioners of mainstream and alternative medicine, together with cancer patients and high ranking officials of the ACS and NCI. Dr. Gordon warned alternative practitioners that “they’re going to need to get more rigorous with their work — to be accepted by the mainstream community.” However, no such warning was directed at the highly questionable claims by NCI and ACS for the efficacy of conventional cancer chemotherapy. As significantly, criticism of the establishment’s minimalistic priority for cancer prevention was effectively discouraged by Dr. Gordon. In the fall of 1998 OAM was upgraded by congress to an autonomous institute, “The National Center for Complimentary Alternative Medicine,” forcing the ACS to cease attacks on cancer “quackery.”
The Mammography Industry
Five radiologists have served as ACS presidents, and in its every move, The ACS has close connections to the mammography industry. the ACS reflects the interests of the major manufacturers of mammogram machines and film, including Siemens, DuPont, General Electric, Eastman Kodak, and Piker. I n fact, if every woman were to follow ACS and NCI mammography guidelines, the annual revenue to health care facilities would be a staggering $5 billion, including at least $2.5 billion for premenopausal women.
Promotions of the ACS continue to lure women of all ages into mammography centers, leading them to believe that mammography is their best hope against breast cancer. A leading Massachusetts newspaper featured a photograph of two women in their twenties in An ACS communications director, questioned by journalist Kate Dempsey, responded in an article published by the Massachusetts Women’s Community Cancer Project: an ACS advertisement that promised early detection results in a cure “nearly 100 percent of the time.”
The ad isn’t based on a study. When you make an advertisement, you just say what you can to get women in the door. . . You exaggerate a point. . Mammography today is a lucrative (and) highly competitive business.
In addition, the mammography industry conducts research for the ACS and its grantees, serves on advisory boards, and donates considerable funds. DuPont also is a substantial backer of the ACS Breast Health Awareness Program; sponsors television shows and other media productions touting mammography; produces advertising, promotional, and information literature for hospitals, clinics, medical organizations, and doctors; produces educational films; and, of course, lobbies Congress for legislation promoting availability of mammography services. In virtually all of its important actions, the ACS has been strongly linked with the mammography industry, ignoring the development of viable alternatives to mammography.
T The ACS exposes premenopausal women to radiation hazards from mammography with little or no evidence of benefits. he ACS also fails to tell them that their breasts will change so much over time that the “baseline” images have little or no future relevance. This is truly an American Cancer Society crusade. But against whom, or rather for whom?
with the mammography and cancer drug industries. The highly publicized “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month” campaign further illustrates these institutionalized conflicts of interest ACS and NCI representatives help sponsor promotional events, hold interviews, and stress the need for mammography every October. The flagship of this month-long series of events is National Mammography Day on October 17 in 1997. This is no accident. Zeneca Pharmaceuticals — a spin-off of Imperial Chemical Industries, Conspicuously absent from the public relations campaign of the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is any information on environmental and other avoidable causes of breast cancer. one of the world’s largest manufacturers of chlorinated and other industrial chemicals, including those incriminated as causes of breast cancer — has been the sole multimillion-dollar funder of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month since its inception in 1984. F Zeneca is also the sole manufacturer of tamoxifen, the world’s top-selling anticancer and breast cancer “prevention” drug, with $400 million in annual sales. urthermore, Zeneca recently assumed direct management of eleven cancer centers in United States hospitals. Zeneca owns a 50 percent stake in these centers known collectively as Salick Health Care, posing serious conflict’s of interest.
The link between the ACS and NCI and Zeneca is especially strong when it comes to tamoxifen. On March 7, 1997, the NCI Press Office released a four-page “For Response to Inquiries on Breast Cancer.” The brief section on prevention reads: The ACS and NCI continue aggressively to promote the tamoxifen trial, which is the cornerstone of its minimal prevention program.
Researchers are looking for a way to prevent breast cancer in women at high risk. . . . A large study (is underway) to see if the drug tamoxifen will reduce cancer risk in women age 60 or older and in women 35 to 59 who have a pattern of risk factors for breast cancer. This study is also a model for future studies of cancer prevention. Studies of diet and nutrition could also lead to preventive strategies.
Since Zeneca influences every leaflet, poster, publication, and commercial produced by National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is no wonder these publications make no mention of carcinogenic industrial chemicals and their relation to breast cancer. Imperial Chemical Industries, Zeneca’s parent company, profits by manufacturing breast-cancer-causing chemicals. Zeneca profits from treatment of breast cancer, and hopes to profit still more from the prospects of large-scale national use of tamoxifen for breast cancer prevention. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a masterful public relations coup for Zeneca, providing the company with valuable, if ill-placed, good will from millions of American women.
The Pesticide Industry
Just how inbred the relations between the ACS and the chemical industry are became clear in the spring of 1993 to Marty Koughan, a public television producer. Koughan was about to broadcast a documentary on the dangers of pesticides to children for the Public Broadcasting Service’s hour-long show, “Frontline.” Koughan’s investigation relied heavily on an embargoed, ground-breaking report issued by the National Academy of Sciences in June of 1993 entitled “ Pesticides in the Diet of Children.” This report declared the nation’s food supply “inadequately protected” from cancer-causing pesticides and a significant threat to the health of children.
An earlier report, issued by the Natural Resources Defense Council in 1989, “Intolerable Risk: Pesticides in our Children’s Food,” had also given pesticide manufacturers failing marks. The report was released in high profile testimony to Congress by movie actress Meryl Streep. A mother of young children, Streep explained to a packed House chamber the report’s findings, namely, that c hildren were most at risk from cancer-causing pesticides on our food because they consume a disproportionate amount of fruits, fruit juices, and vegetables relative to their size, and because their bodies are still forming.
Shortly before Koughan’s program was due to air, a draft of the script was mysteriously leaked to Porter-Novelli, a powerful public relations firm for produce growers and the agrichemical industry. In true Washington fashion, Porter- Novelli plays both sides of the fence, representing both government agencies and the industries they regulate. Its client list in 1993 included Ciba-Geigy, DuPont, Monsanto, Burroughs Wellcome, American Petroleum Institute, Bristol-Meyers-Squibb, Hoffman-LaRoche, Hoechst Celanese, Hoechst Roussel Pharmaceutical, Janssen Pharmaceutical, Johnson & Johnson, the Center for Produce Quality, as well as the USDA, the NCI, plus other National Institutes of Health.
Porter-Novelli first crafted a rebuttal to help the manufacturers quell public fears about pesticide-contaminated food. Next, Porter-Novelli called up another client, the ACS, for whom Porter-Novelli had done pro bono work for years. The rebuttal that Porter-Novelli had just sent off to its industry clients was faxed to ACS Atlanta headquarters. It was then circulated internationally by e-mail on March 22, 1993, virtually verbatim from the memo Porter-Novelli had crafted for a backgrounder for 3,000 regional ACS offices to have in hand to help field calls from the public after the show aired.
T . he program makes unfounded suggestions . . . that pesticide residue in food may be at hazardous levels,” the ACS memo read. “Its use of a ‘cancer cluster’ leukemia case reports and non-specific community illnesses as alleged evidence of pesticide effects in people is unfortunate. We know of no community cancer clusters which have been shown to be anything other than chance grouping of cases and none in which pesticide use was confirmed as the cause
This bold, unabashed defense of the pesticide industry, crafted by Porter-Novelli, was then rehashed a third time, this time by the right-wing group, Accuracy in Media. AIM’s newsletter gleefully published quotes from the ACS memo in an article with the banner headline: “Junk Science on PBS.” The article opened with “Can we afford the Public Broadcasting Service?” and went on to disparage Koughan’s documentary on pesticides and children. “In Our Children’s Food . . . exemplified what the media have done to produce these ‘popular panics’ and the enormously costly waste (at PBS) cited by the New York Times.”
When Koughan saw the AIM article he was initially outraged that the ACS was being used to defend the pesticide industry. “At first, I assumed complete ignorance on the part of the ACS,” said Koughan. But after repeatedly trying, without success, to get the national office to rebut the AIM article, Koughan began to see what was really going on. “When I realized Porter-Novelli represented five agrichemical companies, and that the ACS had been a client for years, it became obvious that the ACS had not been fooled at all,” said Koughan. “They were willing partners in the deception, and were in fact doing a favor for a friend _ by flakking for the agrichemical industry.”
Charles Benbrook, former director of the National Academy of Sciences Board of Agriculture, worked on the pesticide report by the Academy of Sciences that the PBS special would preview. He charged that the role of the ACS as a source of information for the media representing the pesticide and product industry was “unconscionable.” Investigative reporter Sheila Kaplan, in a 1993 Legal Times article, went still further: “What they did was clearly and unequivocally over the line, and constitutes a major conflict of interest.”
The Role of the ACS in the War Against Cancer
The verdict is unassailable. The ACS bears a major responsibility for losing the winnable war against cancer.
The launching of the 1971 War Against Cancer provided the ACS with a well-exploited opportunity to pursue it own myopic and self-interested agenda. Its strategies remain based on two myths — that there has been dramatic progress in the treatment and cure of cancer, and that any increase in the incidence and mortality of cancer is due to aging of the population and smoking while denying any significant role for involuntary exposures to industrial carcinogens in air, water, consumer products and the workplace.
As the world’s largest non-religious “charity,” with powerful allies in the private and public sectors, ACS policies and priorities remain unchanged. In spite of periodic protests, threats of boycotts, and questions on its finances, the Society leadership responds with powerful PR campaigns reflecting denial and manipulated information, and pillorying its opponents with scientific McCarthyism.
The verdict is unassailable. The ACS bears a major responsibility for losing the winnable war against cancer.
Reforming the American Cancer Society: What to do about it
Reforming the ACS is, in principle, relatively easy and directly achievable. . Boycott the ACS Such a boycott is well overdue and will send the only message this “charity” can no longer ignore. The Cancer Prevention Coalition and some breast cancer groups have already taken steps in this direction. Instead give your charitable contributions to public interest and environmental groups involved in cancer prevention.
Boycott all ACS events. Better yet, organize counter-protests at events sponsored by ACS.
Refuse to donate to the ACS and let them know in writing as to why you are doing so.
Donate to organizations that are concerned with cancer prevention, better yet join these organizations.
Please link this document to your websites.
Organize protests outside ACS offices.
Circulate petitions to be signed by your members and send to your local ACS office.
In the wake of tragedies large and small, they pop up like mushrooms after a rain. With tales of woe and heartbreaking images of children or helpless animals, they beg for assistance. They are the tragi-charities. One hit wonders seeking to cash in on the tragedy of the day from floods and fires to missing children and more.
Find out now: How much do I need to save for retirement?
The pop-up charity business is usually local, occasionally regional and rarely national. Mostly they are the products of individual scammers who smell an opportunity to cash in using the name of a victim who may or may not even be real. They count on local press coverage and a quick website. These ‘charities’ usually rake in a few thousand dollars and disappear.
Then there are the professional long term operations. They utilize direct mail or telemarketers to solicit millions of dollars in donations from unsuspecting individuals and businesses. Are you concerned you’ve already been
scammed or just want to make sure you won’t be in the future? Here are some of the worst offenders:
1. Kids Wish Network
2. Cancer Fund of America
3. Children’s Wish Foundation International
4. American Breast Cancer Foundation
5. Firefighters Charitable Foundation
6. Breast Cancer Relief Foundation
7. International Union of Police Associations, AFL-CIO
8. National Veterans Service Fund
9. American Association of State Troopers
10. Children’s Cancer Fund of America
11. Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation
12. Youth Development Fund
13. Committee For Missing Children
14. Association for Firefighters and Paramedics
15. Project Cure (Bradenton, FL)
16. National Caregiving Foundation
17. Operation Lookout National Center for Missing Youth
18. United States Deputy Sheriffs’ Association
19. Vietnow National Headquarters
20. Police Protective Fund
21. National Cancer Coalition
22. Woman to Woman Breast Cancer Foundation
23. American Foundation For Disabled Children
24. The Veterans Fund
25. Heart Support of America
26. Veterans Assistance Foundation
27. Children’s Charity Fund
28. Wishing Well Foundation USA
29. Defeat Diabetes Foundation
30. Disabled Police Officers of America Inc.
31. National Police Defense Foundation
32. American Association of the Deaf & Blind
33. Reserve Police Officers Association
34. Optimal Medical Foundation
35. Disabled Police and Sheriffs Foundation
36. Disabled Police Officers Counseling Center
37. Children’s Leukemia Research Association
38. United Breast Cancer Foundation
39. Shiloh International Ministries
40. Circle of Friends For American Veterans
41. Find the Children
42. Survivors and Victims Empowered
43. Firefighters Assistance Fund
44. Caring for Our Children Foundation
45. National Narcotic Officers Associations Coalition
46. American Foundation for Children With AIDS
47. Our American Veterans
48. Roger Wyburn- Mason & Jack M Blount Foundation for Eradication of Rheumatoid Disease
49. Firefighters Burn Fund
50. Hope Cancer Fund
This list was put together by the Tampa Bay Times and The Center for Investigative Reporting based on federal tax filings for the last 10 years. Charities are broken up into five main categories: children, cancer, police/law enforcement, veterans, fire and other. These fifty charities account for more than $1.35 Billion in donations. Of that, $970 million went not to victims, but to the people who collected the money.
Related Article: 5 Ways You Can Donate to Charity Without Spending a Dime
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