Actress, breast cancer survivor announces wine brand

August 12, 2015

pink and blue for two

After years of advocating for a cure, breast cancer survivor and actress Olivia Newton-John announced her new wine line, promising to donate 20% of the net profits to (her) breast cancer charity. Ten percent of proceeds from the sale of her wine will go to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre, and 10% will go to a branded breast and prostate cancer awareness campaign.

Newton-John's health and marketing advisers must have missed the memo. The evidence is clear: alcohol consumption is a major risk factor for breast cancer. In fact, researchers from Cancer Council Australia recently published a study finding more than 1 in 5 of the nation's cases of breast cancer were linked to alcohol consumption, and that the risk of alcohol-related cancer increased with every drink consumed.

Alcohol use is a leading cause of cancer – and one of the largest avoidable risk factors – even when used moderately. There is no determined safe threshold for alcohol consumption and cancer risk.

Promoting alcohol with breast cancer awareness is misleading and yet another example of pinkwashing, a term coined by Breast Cancer Action to describe a company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures, and/or sells products that are linked to breast cancer.

Read our fact sheet on alcohol and cancer risk here.