October 01, 2023

80 Million Bags of Pink M&M’s

Last week, while Republicans and Democrats wrestled over bailouts, there was one thing they did agree upon. Like a page straight out of the The Official Preppy Handbook, pink finally met green with a voice vote in the House approving legislation H.R. 1157, which requires the National Institutes of Health to grant $40 million over the next four years to researching environmental factors that might be related to breast cancer.

As a kick off to breast cancer awareness month, let’s take this recent legislative success as an excellent lesson on how opening your mouth, instead of your wallet, can make a world of difference.  This piece of legislation had overwhelming support in the house (287 votes).  Why?  It is not just because our elected officials care about breast cancer; it is also because they know that you care and that you will continue to elect them if they vote correctly on these issues.  

When you place pressure on your local representatives by calling, visiting, or writing letters, in the end you will raise more money for breast cancer than if you bought a bag of pink M&Ms.  So  let’s reveal some math that helps make sense of this all: 
  • Americans would need to buy 80 million bags of M&M’s to equal the $40 million sum that is offered in this bill.  (I’d rather my hard earned tax dollars go to support cancer research, and save my spending money on something other than pink candy.  I’m sure my dentist concurs.)
  • M&M’s pledged to donate $1 million dollars to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  With a 50 cent donation per bag,  it takes 2 million bags of M&M’s sold to reach the $1 million goal.  In most cause related marketing campaigns any sum over the 2 million bags would go straight into the pockets of the M&M company and not to breast cancer research.
  • While $1 million sounds quite generous, the Mars Company that manufactures M&M’s earned $21 billion in sales in 2006.  In fact, they are also giving away $1 million this month in a Halloween haunted house sweepstakes.
As a cancer patient, I’d rather raise cancer research funds as a pro-active, vocal citizen, than as an undereducated consumer being duped by slick cause related marketing.
What about you? Have you ever called your representatives about cancer legislation?
Would you contact them  if you knew how or where to make the calls?

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook


  1. jessikalu - sugar kitten Says:
    October 5th, 2008 at 10:29 PM

    So true - as a bc survivor it’s about spreading the word of monthly exams starting as soon as you get breasts.
    what pisses me off about all these “pink” things that partial proceeds go to, it’s usually 10 cents or something and yeah it adds up but what good is eating pink candy going to do when you don’t know how to perform your monthly exams?

Leave a Comment