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Posted Mon Oct 4 2010: from Business Ethics:
Controversial Chemical Poses Disclosure Challenge for Colgate-Palmolive
The current squeeze on Colgate stems from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration decision this year to train its microscopes more closely on triclosan, a chemical with antibacterial properties that in recent decades has been added to scores of products, but now is under new scrutiny because of studies that suggest it may harm both human health and the environment. And while the FDA conducts its review - and critics of triclosan mount their arguments to curtail its use by consumers - Colgate and other product manufacturers have to decide what they can and should say to the marketplace, not to mention when and how to convey it. The hurdle the company faces is clear: a core ingredient of its top-selling Colgate Total toothpaste is suddenly the heart of a public health tempest, but regulators have neither banned the chemical nor deemed it unsafe. There is no well-tested playbook for the scenario, says David Nash, partner at McMahon DeGulis, an environmental law firm based in Cleveland. "The dilemma becomes, what kind of legal, moral, or socially responsible duty do they have to stakeholders to go beyond where the regulatory agency has already gone?" he asks. "In this fast-moving field, I would be hard-pressed to say [there is a] consensus on best practices."... The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported several years ago that it found triclosan in the urine of three-quarters of participants in a 2,500-person health survey.
[Read more stories about: health impacts, endocrine disruptor]

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'Doc Michael says:
The worst "best practice": secrecy.

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