Over the years, the Susan G. Komen foundation has found itself in a lot of dumb partnerships for the sake of breast cancer awareness, but their latest takes the pink frosted cake. Special for Breast Cancer Awareness month, the organization has announced a collaboration on hot pink drill bits with fracking company Baker Hughes. Fracking, by the way, is an oil/natural gas drilling process that releases hundreds of chemicals — chemicals that actually increase your risk of cancer — into the public's drinking water.
Baker Hughes announced the partnership on their website:
For the second consecutive year, Baker Hughes is donating $100,000 to support Susan G. Komen®, the world's leading breast cancer organization. The year-long partnership with Komen is an extension of the company's participation each year in the Komen Houston Race for the Cure, where Baker Hughes sponsor's the Survivor Pin Celebration.
This year, the company will paint and distribute a total of 1,000 pink drill bits worldwide. The pink bits serve as a reminder of the importance of supporting research, treatment, screening, and education to help find the cures for this disease, which claims a life every 60 seconds.
Susan G. Komen has been considered problematic for a long time, having garnered the reputation of caring more about executive salaries and pinkwashing than cancer research and women's health. In 2012, the foundation made the controversial decision to cease funding towards Planned Parenthood, then reversed the decision after intense public backlash. In other words, a partnership as hapless as the one with Baker Hughes is perfectly in line with the company's implied philosophy of "Don't think, buy pink."
In the brief time since it was announced, the Susan G. Komen/Baker Hughes collaboration has angered basically everyone with a lick of common sense, including Breast Cancer Action, a national grassroots organization that, earlier today, released this deliciously snarky statement:
Breast Cancer Action today thanked Susan G. Komen and Baker Hughes for partnering on the most ludicrous piece of pink sh*t they've seen all year – 1,000 shiny pink drill bits. BCAction hailed this partnership as the most egregious example of "pinkwashing" they've ever seen and heartily lauded Komen and Baker Hughes for doing their bit to increase women's risk of breast cancer with their toxic fracking chemicals.
BCAction commended Baker Hughes and Komen for their ingenious pinkwashing profit cycle, whereby Baker Hughes helps fuel breast cancer while Komen raises millions of dollars to try to cure it.
These drill bits are painted a specially commissioned pink to exactly match Komen's brand color. Baker Hughes will use these pink drill bits to create an underground path for their special toxic mix of fracking chemicals that have a high chance of seeping into groundwater supplies and poisoning all living things in the vicinity, including women's bodies.
Dang. Baker Hughes and Susan G. Komen got told.
Image via Baker Hughes.