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Melanoma Day: It’s Scary… But Not In The Way You Might Think

The melanoma awareness month (or week/day) has become a new sign of that summer is approaching.

euro melanoma dayIn Europe, the organisation behind the Melanoma Day is Euromelanoma, which describes itself as: “a pan-European campaign for skin cancer prevention that aims to give information to everybody on skin cancer prevention, early diagnosis and treatment.” Sounds good, doesn’t it? But is this really their true purpose? The main founder of Euromelanoma is LA ROCHE-POSAY, owned by L’Oréal, who have played a leading role in the sun-scare, one of the most sinister and cynical PR-campaigns ever. With this we could describe Euromelanoma’s core purpose more accurately as being:

“a pan-European campaign for creating exaggerated skin cancer statistics that can be used to scare people into buying more sun-protection cosmetics to increase the profits of its founders.”

To this we can add an even more devious purpose …

“By scaring people into avoiding the healing benefits from sunlight and tanning beds, more and more people will need to be treated for skin diseases, thus increasing sales of our dermatological products.”

And to take it one step further …

“The sponsoring of national dermatological associations creates an excellent marketing and sales channel for our pharmaceutical products, as well as a useful base for political lobbying.”

If you think this sounds like an unfair reading of L’Oréal’s supposed philanthropy, one only has to look at their leading role in The Creation of The Sun Scare. In short, L’Oréal, together with Nestlé, used their funding of research into a “cure for skin cancer” as the pretext to instigate a massive black PR campaign, the sun-scare. Of course the main purpose of L’Oreal’s research is not to find a cure for skin-cancer. That would be like killing the goose laying the golden eggs. Their real aim? To make us believe that the sun, for so long recognised as beneficial to our skin and all round health, was suddenly a killer. The result? Multi-billion Euro annual sales of sun protection “skin care” cosmetics – and a nice little side line in treatments for skin conditions that are exacerbated because of lack of exposure to the sun. Training and education programmes for dermatologists, and funding for dermatological associations, helped complete the cycle: more diagnosis of new “skin cancers”, such as basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), more fear, more sales of lucrative sun protecting cosmetics. Now, to help fuel the fear (and profits) still further, some clever PR whizz invented the, now international, Melanoma Day. The company selected to spearhead the increased search for Melanoma in Europe was La Roche-Posay, which was purchased by L’Oréal in 1989. This is how L’Oréal describes their “Active Cosmetics” division, to which La Roche-Posay belongs:
“Dermocosmetic skincare, the core business of the Active Cosmetics Division, target the needs of people with “borderline” skin, affected by minor problems or a low tolerance level. The success of the 2011 launches was driven by the alliance between powerful innovations and recommendations by health professionals: dermatologists, paediatricians, pharmacists and doctors practising aesthetic medicine.”
Here is the model for creating exaggerated sun-scare statistics which has been used in every country. And this is also where “Melanoma Day” comes into the picture … The first step is to create the vehicles through which L’Oréal can exercise their influence on dermatologists. Examples: American Academy of Dermatology, American Dermatological Association, Canadian Dermatology Association, Национального Альянса дерматологов и косметологов (in Russia) etc. etc.. L’Oréal is the initiator and main sponsor of one or more organisation in each country. Even if, for many, the sponsoring of such associations sounds like a very good and altruistic deed, the real purpose is to provide the black PR campaign against sunshine with frightening statistics. The “Euro Melanoma Day” was invented to get as many people as possible into the screening rooms of the dermatologists trained by La Roche-Posay. To be fair, this does mean that some cases of real malignant melanoma can be detected and treated in time. That is however a tiny amount compared to all the cases of benign (i.e. “thin”) melanoma plus BCC and SCC that are ‘discovered”. The real tragedy is that many people are “put under the knife” unnecessary, often leading to severe personal psychological and physiological traumas as well as higher costs for tax-payers. Prof. Earl J. Glusac describes this very well in his report “The melanoma ‘epidemic’, a dermatopathologist’s perspective”. Professor Glusac's conclusion has been confirmed in a large, multi-national, study which researched 10 years of melanoma statistics and found that as many as 93 out of 100 diagnosed cases of melanoma turned out to be only benign skin-lesions. The bottom line is that the “melanoma inflation” created by dermatologists eager to win prizes set up by La Roche-Posay for the most skin cancers detected, creates far more false positive melanoma and non-melanoma skin-cancer cases – all for the purpose of supporting the black PR campaign against UV-light. These forces create a virtual “Perpetuum Mobile” for increased sales and profit from sun-protection cosmetics, dermocosmetic skincare products and remedies for skin-diseases. The over-diagnoses also serves another purpose for the beneficiaries of sun-scare, namely to boost the probability for case/control studies to show that indoor tanning is dangerous. Sunbed-users are more likely to be scared by the early detection campaigns and will therefore have a higher representation in the “case” groups in the studies than among the “control” groups. The over-diagnoses will also give an exaggerated number of victims in the “case” groups when they are picked from the cancer registers. Only political decision makers have the possibility to stop its progress. To prevent that from happening, a powerful lobbying structure, again based upon associations of different kinds, has been established by L'Oréal. This lobbying has been especially efficient in the USA, where there is a tradition for this kind of political influence. Elsewhere more subtle and hidden methods of influencing politicians are being used. However, and because of the extremely well executed black PR campaign, there is hardly any need for lobbying any more. The mission of changing the perception of sunlight from good to bad is more or less complete. Very few any longer question the tan scaring reports from researchers on L’Oréal’s payroll. No journalists are digging into the material behind the press releases in order to try to find the real truth. Instead they just repeat the false statements given to them by the PR spinners of sun-scare. No politicians raise any objections when the rights of their citizens are being trampled upon. Instead they are helping the sun-scare by initiating laws against tanning. And, worst of all, a whole generation has been brought up being brainwashed to believe that sunshine and tanning beds are dangerous. This brainwashing is secured by constant sun-scare messages in glossy magazines funded by L’Oréal’s advertising budget. In the run up to Melanoma Day in Russia, it is amazing to see how the campaign has been intensified this year compared to previous years. Now the Ministry of Health is actively supporting the campaign and it is impossible to visit a pharmacy without being bombarded with leaflets and posters urging everyone to sign up for a screening.melanoma-day Russia My take on this is that any politician who is supporting Melanoma Day, in spite of knowing the traditions of Russian healthcare and the facts of the healing powers of sunlight, is either incredibly naïve or incredibly corrupt – or both. Sun-scare messages are being transmitted daily. Just today (24th April 2012), I heard on one of the most popular radio channels how a well-known doctor advised people in Moscow about the need to “protect themselves against the dangerous springtime sun, not only by wearing wide-brimmed hats, but also with an additional umbrella.” What great, healthy advice to the grey, gloomy and vitamin D starved folks who have been without UVB from the natural sun for more than six months! I sincerely hope that the firm roots in Russia of common sense and traditional knowledge about the healing benefits from sunlight will be strong enough to withstand this new commercial threat to our health and wellbeing.
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13 thoughts on “Melanoma Day: It’s Scary… But Not In The Way You Might Think”

  1. Mary McIntyre

    This is incredible information. At first, Melanoma Day sounds like something that shows care and concern to people, which is very misleading. The light bulb went on over my head when you said it was day conducted by L’oreal. It is unbelievable what some of the big companies do to get business by driving unnecessary fear into consumer. Thanks for an enlightening post.

  2. As the old saying goes… Follow the Money. You did a good job of that.
    Here in the states… same thing: The skin Cancer Foundation is sponsored by big-pharma. Likewise glossy ads support the “beauty mags”

    The AAD is doing way more harm than good imo.

  3. Well, Seems it’s all about the money. we sell our souls to make the money! Thank you for highlighting this, and here I am, thinking what a way to give back, a good cause, they always know what the focus will be on; we as consumers rarely know the motive.

  4. sani ur rehman

    this is excellent data. at first, melanoma Day sounds like some thing that indicates care and situation to people, which could be very deceptive. The mild bulb went on over my head whilst you stated it become day performed by means of L’oreal. it is improbable what some of the large groups do to get business by way of driving unnecessary fear into purchaser.

  5. because the old pronouncing is going… observe the cash. you probably did a very good activity of that.
    here inside the states… same component: The skin cancer foundation is sponsored through huge-pharma. Likewise glossy commercials help the “beauty mags”

  6. Well, Seems it’s all about the money. we sell our souls to make the money! Thank you for highlighting this, and here I am, thinking what a way to give back, a good cause, they always know what the focus will be on; we as consumers rarely know the motive.

  7. faheem bashir

    Thanks for writing such a great post. I really appreciate you for this post. It was very helpful. Keep it up and thanks again!

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