Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Sierra Club Sold Out to Clorox

The first time I heard about the Green Works cleaning product line from Clorox was on TreeHugger, and attention was drawn to two factors, both of which comprised the 1% of Green Works that wasn't natural.

The preservative agent used, "Kathon," is made by Rohm & Haas. On their main product page, they show that they have tested on rats. On another product page, Rohm & Haas shows that they tested on female and male rabbits. These product pages also list side effects as well as possible long term impact in the water.

Now either this information was not made available to either Clorox or The Sierra Club, or there's some kind of Jedi Mind Trick being pulled here. Maybe Clorox does not use animal testing (or more specifically maybe Green Works doesn't use animal testing), but at least one of the companies that supply ingredients to Clorox does, so guess what? Green Works tests on animals.

Now let's take a look at the coloring, shall we? I suppose that Clorox feels that it's less important that a cleaning product does its job well, but that it smells nice and looks like a urine sample from The Incredible Hulk. Yeah, that makes sense. The manufacturer's website wasn't easy to find on a Dogpile search. What was easy to find was a lot of websites & news stories drawing attention to these colorants in Green Works. Milliken Chemical does not readily list their product information for their Liquitint line of dyes on their website, so it would be grossly unfair to them to assume that these dyes are either tested on animals or have dangerous side effects. However if they are evasive about providing this information or if they do not make it available at all, then serious issues are not being addressed, and we have the right to ask WHY.

Clorox and The Sierra Club have NOT acted in the interest of full disclosure and transparency. I can understand the reasoning behind The Sierra Club selling their support (after all, The Sierra Club was compensated for their endorsement) to Clorox. You want to have as much of an impact in fighting for the environment as possible. That's commendable. The question is which fighter do you support - the one most likely to win (who uses questionable ethics & tactics) or the smaller, lesser-known fighter who stays true to their beliefs and never wavers? We can focus on how much of a pain in the ass it is to spend significantly more money on organic, free trade, and vegan choices as opposed to conventional, plentiful, and cheaper choices. We can assuage any moral dilemmas with reasoning like The Sierra Club had in defense of their endorsement for Green Works. This really isn't so bad because Clorox has a huge market share and The Sierra Club can reach a broader audience with them than endorsing Seventh Generation, Method, or my personal favorite, Dr. Bronner's.

Or you can stop the nonsense altogether and fight for the future.

No comments: