Earlier this week, four cancer charities were named as “sham charities” by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for improperly using 187 million dollars in donations that were supposed to go toward services for cancer patients.  According to news reports, the executives of these charities used all but 3% of these funds to pay for their very high salaries, luxury vacations and lavish gifts for employees and friends.

“Cancer is a debilitating disease that impacts millions of Americans and their families every year. The defendants’ egregious scheme effectively deprived legitimate cancer charities and cancer patients of much-needed funds and support,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The defendants took in millions of dollars in donations meant to help cancer patients, but spent it on themselves and their fundraisers. I’m pleased that the FTC and our state partners are acting to end this appalling scheme.”

Why am I writing about this?  Because two of the non-profits, The Breast Cancer Society and the Cancer Fund of America, are listed on an animal rights group’s website touting approved charities.

And why does this group give these two fraudulent charities its seal of approval? Solely because they don’t fund or conduct any animal research.  That’s it.  There is no other criteria to be on this list other than the absence of animal research.

So, prominent, well-respected groups like the American Cancer Society, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center, the Mayo Clinic and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital are considered “bad” in their estimation, and yet these two groups that have been defrauding donors (and cancer patients) for years are somehow the “good” guys.  The animal rights group calls its list “Humane Charity Seal of Approval,” but what’s humane about taking money intended for cancer patients and defrauding the public?

It’s disappointing, but perhaps not surprising, that the mission of animal rights groups to eliminate  animal research so clouds their judgment that nothing else, including the facts,  matter.

For the record, the best way to donate to a charity is based on its reputation, independent ratings, and your personal connection to them.  Most, if not all, of the top health research charities support animal research, because this research remains fundamental to the development of treatments and cures.  So if you really want to help find a cure for diabetes, AIDS or Alzheimer’s disease, or improved treatments for stroke and heart disease , support charities that support animal research. After all, without it, these cures, treatments and therapies will remain out of reach.

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