Written by Green Diva Betsy
Mind the Store!
Safer Chemicals Healthy Families and their partners have been working on a campaign called Mind the Store for nearly a year. I love the Mind the Store campaign, because while we certainly need and should continue to seek governmental action on toxic chemicals, the regulatory and legislative process can at times be painfully slow and disappointingly political. #MindtheStore is a fabulous way for consumers to directly demand quick action from businesses, who will in turn have a stake in pressuring the government to adopt meaningful reform. In response to the efforts of Safer Chemicals Healthy Families and pressure from everyday consumers like you, big retailers like Walmart and Target have developed their own comprehensive policies to screen out over 1,000 chemicals in products on their store shelves.
Yet Kroger, the largest grocery chain in the United States and one of the largest worldwide, with over 3,500 stores and sales of over $98 billion, still doesn’t have a policy to screen out and eliminate toxic chemicals in their products. We especially need grocery stores to keep toxic chemicals out of the products they sell. Recent studies show that food packaging is a primary route of exposure to dangerous toxins such as phthalates. Another study published earlier this year found 175 different toxic chemicals in materials that come into contact with food.
Other types of products contain chemicals of concern as well. HealthyStuff.org’s latest report found hazardous chemicals such as PVC/ vinyl and tin (which suggests the presence of organotins, a class of toxic chemicals harmful to developing brains, the immune system, and the endocrine system) in a majority of holiday decor products, including those sold at Kroger. And a few months ago, a study found children’s Halloween trick-or-treat bags laced with dangerous flame retardants sold at Kroger. Kroger has reported selling over 150 products with hazardous chemicals harmful to children to the state of Washington under an innovative state law. For example they reported selling tableware with formaldehyde, parabens in skin care products, and phthalates in children’s clothing.
Businesses such as Kroger have a responsibility to consumers to ensure that their products, particularly those used by pregnant women and small children, are safe and free of hormone-disrupting chemicals. Kroger has taken some initial steps to eliminate certain chemicals like BPA in canned food, which is a promising first step we hope they can build on.
I want you to know just how easy this is! Because I’ve signed petitions using SalsaLabs before (and they store your information if you want), this little act of eco-activism literally took me seconds. If this is your first time signing a SalsaLab petition, it will take you about a minute. Far less time than it took you to scan this post. My kind of activism! Sign here.
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