Breast cancer awareness: not all pink products donate proceeds

Published: Oct. 2, 2012 at 9:20 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2013 at 3:36 PM EDT
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LOUISIVLLE, KY (WAVE) - Shoppers, think before you buy pink. Retailers are being inundated with products claiming to support breast cancer awareness and research.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Retailers are stocking pink products, but not all of them donate a portion of the proceeds.

Any product supporting Susan G. Komen for the Cure will have a dot about the two-shaded ribbon. Items supporting other organizations may need a closer look.

Savvy shoppers like Jeanette Bates admits she gravitates toward the color synonymous with fighting breast cancer. "I've noticed more and more pink everywhere. If it has a pink ribbon, I'm going to automatically assume it is going toward a good cause," Bates said.

Many consumers generally assume this, which is why Susan G. Komen for the Cure wants to make sure you're informed.

"On the package, you should also see additional writing that spells out how much of that purchase will be donated by that organization," Bob Silverthorn said.

Items benefiting Komen will have a dot above the ribbon. The logo actually depicts a runner.

Other products, like select BIC pens indicate $.50 cents will be donated to City of Hope and notebooks on Target shelves promise to donate 5% to National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Look for specific info on the packaging.

"We believe in transparency in this transaction between the consumer and the product," Silverthorn said.

Keep in mind, just because the item may not list a specific organization near the pink ribbon or the back of the product, the company may support breast cancer awareness and research. However, the actual item you're purchasing may just have a pink ribbon or text to raise awareness.

"To have that awareness out there is important, however we need to make sure it is not misused in the marketplace," Silverthorn said.

That's why local supermarket Melton is careful about how its store is stocked.

"You want to trust companies, but you don't know if you can or not because they're not specifically saying what they're behind," Manager Wayne Cheatham said.

"The packaging should include a very specific cause - not ubiquitous or in generalities. That is critical," Silverthorn added.

For a list of Komen for the Cure sponsors, click here.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.