David Koch Donates to Fight Cancer While His Company Fights the Regulation of Carcinogens

Scientists, politicians and Nobel laureates lauded billionaire David H. Koch at an event on March 4, 2011 for donating hundreds of millions of dollars to cancer research. Koch decided to put money towards cancer research after he contracted prostate cancer in 1992. But one of Koch's companies, Georgia Pacific, produces formaldehyde, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says causes cancer in animals, and may cause cancer in humans. Moreover, Georgia Pacific has been lobbying to keep the EPA from listing formaldehyde as a human carcinogen.  While he has donated millions to science, Koch's company, the oil/coal/chemical/paper conglomerate Koch Industries, is known to be a major polluter, and Greenpeace has called Koch "a kingpin of climate change denial."  Meanwhile, Koch's PR offensive continues with the big profile in the New York Times, headlined "Cancer Research Before Activism, Koch Brother Says."  The Center for Media and Democracy--which has profiled the political activities of the company leaders and Mr. Koch's investment in special interest groups to push his ideological agenda--responded by noting, "The truth is that it costs a lot more to cure cancer than to buy influence with a politician through donations or provide the funding to fuel a bunch of special interest groups to peddle policy, push talking points, and pay for expensive ad campaigns" said Lisa Graves, CMD's executive director, adding "A little money goes a long way in the business of manufacturing consent; it's apparently and unfortunately got a great return on investment."


Curing Cancer is actually very cheap. We have numerous methods that are not toxic and work well, certainly better than the chemo which shortens life while destroying quality of life.

Koch and co fund cancer research to ensure no cure is found, but lots of money for the chemical industry that poisons and then poisons again with toxic drugs.

It is a great gimmick and they profit at both ends.

I'm not sure that the costs of curing cancer exceed those of manufacturing consent. In 2005 roughly $75 billion was spent on direct medical costs for cancer treatment. Advertising costs for the same year were $270 billion. These are gross costs that do not take into account spending such as HBGary or private grants to support research, but they are a good indicator of our society's priorities.

The cost of manufactured consent is also inherently a regressive tax. The cost of advertising is always passed on in the costs of goods like a sales tax. Thanks to concentrated media ownership and the obsolete broadcast model of communications, the public has little say in how advertising money is spent and what messages it will promote.