Credo Action

Tell Ford: Stop pinkwashing cancer-causing cars and trucks

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The petition to Ford Motor Company CEO James Hackett reads:

"Stop pinkwashing and put the brakes on the breast cancer epidemic. Stop making vehicles that produce cancer-causing exhaust and switch to 100 percent zero emission vehicles."

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    Tell Ford: Stop pinkwashing cancer-causing cars and trucks

    October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and pink ribbons are everywhere. Even Ford Motor has its own pink PR campaign. But Ford's gas-guzzling vehicles increase women's risk of breast cancer. Covering that up with pink ribbons is hypocrisy – what our friends at Breast Cancer Action call "pinkwashing."

    Ford is already one of the most polluting car companies in the world,1 and now it plans to switch almost exclusively to even more polluting trucks and SUVs. Ford even lobbied the Trump administration to repeal vehicle emissions standards.2

    Until Ford gets serious about ending its own contribution to the breast cancer epidemic, it has no business claiming to fight for survivors. We’re proud to join our friends at Breast Cancer Action in calling out Ford for pinkwashing while driving up the risk of breast cancer.

    Tell Ford Motor: Stop pinkwashing and help put the brakes on the breast cancer epidemic by switching to 100 percent zero emission vehicles.

    Ford runs Warriors in Pink, a donations program that encourages women to be "warriors" in the fight against breast cancer.3 But it doesn’t matter how hard women “fight” if the air they breathe is more toxic because of Ford’s hypocrisy.

    Auto exhaust contains carcinogens and hormone disruptors such as benzene, 1,3-butadiene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that increase the risk of breast cancer.4,5 As one of the Big Three automobile manufacturers in the United States, Ford could make a big difference in cutting down on these chemicals in our environment.

    Instead, Ford plans to focus its U.S. sales on SUVs and trucks – vehicles with the highest cancer-causing emissions. SUVs and trucks also have lower emissions standards than cars, so by encouraging people to buy larger vehicles, Ford can duck stricter rules and pump more cancer-causing chemicals into the air.6

    If Ford truly wanted to help women reduce our risk of breast cancer, it would switch to 100 percent zero emissions vehicles. When it comes to electric vehicles, Ford lags far behind its competitors. The company has not offered a single new hybrid or battery electric vehicle since the 2013 model year.7 Ford plans to produce more electric vehicles by 2022, but most will not be sold in the United States.8

    Over 100 years ago, Ford made its name by bringing the Model-T to the masses. Now it’s time for Ford to stop the pinkwashing and revolutionize transportation again, this time with a zero-emission fleet that will protect our health and environment.

    Tell Ford to stop pinkwashing and help put the brakes on the breast cancer epidemic by switching to 100 percent zero emission vehicles.


    1. Dan Becker and James Gerstenzang, "The hypocrisy behind Ford's 'green' reputation," Detroit Free Press, March 30, 2018.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Ford Motor, "Models of courage," accessed Oct. 18, 2018.
    4. Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, "Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)," accessed Oct. 17, 2018.
    5. Kathryn Rodgers et al., "Environmental chemicals and breast cancer: An updated review of epidemiological literature informed by biological mechanisms," Environmental Research, January 2018.
    6. Hiroko Tabuchi, "The World Is Embracing S.U.V.s. That’s Bad News for the Climate." The New York Times, March 3, 2018.
    7. John Voelcker, "Ford's future hybrid, electric-car lineup: 5 things to know," Green Car Reports, March 16, 2018.
    8. Anton Wahlman, "Ford Outlines Its Electric Car Plans Vs. Tesla Model Y," Seeking Alpha, March 19, 2018.

    Photo: Pornchai Jaito/EyeEm/Getty Images, Icon: Anbileru Adaleru