4 Public Health Victories: Companies respond to consumer pressure

There has been a lot of momentum to remove harmful ingredients from everyday consumer products. And as a public health advocate, I don’t always take a moment to say “Hey – good job! We did this!” So that my friends is what this blog is all about. A small celebration, join me!

Victory #1 – Home Depot removes phthalates from vinyl flooring by end of 2015

Vinyl flooring may be cheap, but a new study by Healthy Stuff shows that the hormone-disrupting class of chemicals called phthalates are widespread in flooring. The Home Depot recently announced that they were phasing out all phthalates from vinyl flooring by the end of 2015, putting them far ahead of their competitors and having a profound positive impact in the flooring marketplace. This is a huge victory and I’d like to extend credit to the leaders at The Home Depot and the Mind the Store campaign by Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. The Mind the Store campaign has been working with the nation’s leading retailers to craft corporate policies on removing toxic ingredients in their supply chain. So far it’s working. Bravo Home Depot – and guess what – Lowe’s followed suit a few short weeks later!

Victory #2 – Walgreens announces they are working on a chemical policy – How comprehensive will it be?

Another victory for the Mind the Store campaign – Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore has announced they are working on a plan to take action on toxic ingredients in the products sold in their stores. The question remains however, how strong will it be? I urge Walgreens to craft a policy that aims to protect public health first and foremost. A strong policy would include: a plan to work with suppliers to remove and substitute harmful ingredients with safer alternatives, disclose all ingredients in private label products, create a robust list of toxic ingredients prohibited from any product sold in their store, and implement the policy storewide. Walgreens – we’re keeping an eye on you. Impress us with a public health protective chemical policy we can celebrate!

Victory #3 – Chipotle no longer serves genetically modified food

The longterm health and environmental impacts of genetically modified food is still unknown and unclear. What is known is the increase use of toxic pesticides as a result of genetically modified corn and other crops. Chipotle is now GMO-free and you can read on their website about why the made this hard and impressive decision.

Victory #4 – Tyson chicken will stop using antibiotics as growth hormones

One of the country’s largest chicken producers – Tyson – announced they will stop using antibiotics in their chicken, except when the animals are sick. You may be wondering why some farmers would use antibiotics when an animal wasn’t sick – and it’s a good question. Antibiotics are widely used to speed up the growth of animals and therefore increases production. The problem is it also contributes to the very real and scary scientific concept of antibiotic resistance and super bugs. Thanks Tyson – now let’s work on how you treat the chickens, K?

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5 Responses to 4 Public Health Victories: Companies respond to consumer pressure

  1. Tiffany (NatureMom) June 1, 2015 at 10:46 am #

    This is all amazing. Hope the momentum continues!

  2. Micaela @MindfulMomma June 1, 2015 at 11:55 am #

    Thanks for sharing the good news Lindsay! Smart to take a moment to let it sink in – our voices are making a difference!

  3. Betsy (Eco-novice) June 1, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

    Will definitely include this in my next good news roundup on green phone booth.

  4. Lori Popkewitz Alper June 1, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

    The past few months have been incredible-so may victories and so much hope. Together we can do this. We are a powerful group!

  5. Anne June 1, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

    Yes! Some good news for a change! Too bad we can’t have a health and environment tax in this country that helps motivate businesses to make these good decisions in the first place.

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