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In a July 10th, 2007 story in the New York Times it was revealed that the American Cancer Society and the $35 billion anti-sun industry finally have come under scrutiny from the mainstream media for being to closely tied to each other.

The New York Times reported that the American Cancer Society may have intentionally overstated the relationship between sun exposure and melanoma in a public service advertising campaign financed by sunscreen manufacturer Neutrogena. The public service ad, which appeared in 15 beauty magazines this summer features a young woman under the headline, "My sister accidentally killed herself. She died of skin cancer." The ad pictures a model instead of an actual skin caner victim, warns readers that "left unchecked, skin cancer can be fatal," and then urges them to "use sunscreen, cover up and watch for skin changes."

"The advertisement's implicit message - that those who die of skin cancer have themselves to blame - has provoked a sharp response from some public health doctors, who say the evidence simply does not support it," the Times reports.

Neutrogena - one of world's largest sunscreen manufacturers - paid for the ads, according to the Times. Neutrogena's sunscreen products have the ACS logo on them, for which Neutrogena pays ACS a royalty.

The Times story took issue with Neutrogena's connection to the ads. "When people see an American Cancer Society public service announcement, they expect it to reflect the best evidence. We don't want people who have a financial interest to be telling you the benefit of doing something, "Dr. Lisa Schwartz, co-director of the Outcomes Group at the Veterans Affairs hospital in White River Junction, VT to the Times.

In response, Dr. J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society, defended the ads but admitted to the Times that the ads "have taken some license" and that being extreme is "the way to get the message to our target audience."

Since when should a non-profit cancer charity "take license" with facts in order to make a point? Asks Joe Levy VP or the International Smart Tan Network. What this shows the media in a big way is that the sun scare message is unraveling at the core, and big money is trying to hold it together.

If the facts were so strong, why would you have to embellish anything?

The fact is the ACS got caught with its hand in Neutrogena's Cookie Jar, and it happened in one of America's most prominent newspapers.

The Smart Tan Network has been trying for years to get the American media to see that so much of the sun scare message isn't altruism, but in fact is motivated by sunscreen sales.

It will be interesting to see how much more becomes exposed in the near future as this investigation continues.

As tanners I thought you might enjoy seeing this information. For so long you read the articles in the larger magazines that play down going out in the sun and when you look further a great percentage of the ads in those very magazines are actually for Sunscreen.

The positive information now about Vitamin D from exposure to UV light is amazing the studies and information that is now available is excellent.

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