P&G Launches Shampoo with Verified Transparency 

By Rose Anthony

Procter and Gamble has taken a leadership role in product transparency at a time when the issue continues to be of interest to consumers concerned about their health.
The world’s biggest maker of personal care and household cleaning products has launched two new Herbal Essences shampoos, reformulated to meet rigorous criteria for transparency and health. The products have earned an EWG VERIFIED mark from the Environmental Working Group to indicate that the shampoos bear robust ingredient labels and meet stringent criteria, as opposed to minimal government standards.

“Because of Procter & Gamble’s sheer size and market share, these new EWG VERIFIED shampoos could be the domino that triggers similar actions from other companies that have not yet embraced this level of transparency,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “As more information comes out about the harmful impact of some of these chemical ingredients, companies are starting to really listen to consumers who are asking for products made with healthier ingredients. P&G is clearly listening to its customers and working to move the market in the right direction.”

The Herbal Essences shampoos will hit store shelves in this month and be available for sale at Walmart, Target, CVS, Kroger, Dollar General, Meijer, Publix, Walgreens and Amazon.

“EWG VERIFIED goes beyond basic ingredient labels to hold companies on the cutting edge of making the healthiest products to an even higher standard,” said Jocelyn Lyle, EWG’s vice president of development. “Our mark will make shopping even easier for overwhelmed consumers who want to quickly find a bottle of shampoo and other personal care products that meet our rigorous standards and that are better for their health.”

Most personal care products on store shelves today are made with chemicals introduced to the market decades ago. Most of those ingredients have not been tested for safety, and many are linked to health hazards, says EWG.

For more than a decade, the group has been at the forefront of chemical ingredient disclosure in personal care products, believing that people have the right to know what is in the products they purchase and use every day. The EWG said its Verified program was created to fill the void left by our nation’s antiquated law regulating the cosmetics and personal care products industry, which allows products to enter the marketplace without any testing to show that they are safe.

In the absence of cosmetics reform, consumers are demanding to know what chemicals are used in the personal care products they turn to every day. EWG says it is vital that these products be affordable and available nationwide. The P&G’s EWG VERIFIED shampoos are mass-marketed and will be sold by the big box retailers.

“EWG VERIFIED will take awareness about chemicals in products to the next level by giving shoppers useful information from a team of scientists they have come to trust,” said Nneka Leiba, the director of EWG’s healthy living science program.

EWG started working with Procter & Gamble and other companies in 2014 to advocate for cosmetics reform legislation. Cosmetic companies including Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Revlon, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal and Unilever support the legislation, as do many public health groups.

Legislation introduced by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, and by Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., would give the FDA the power to review controversial chemicals and determine whether those ingredients are safe, safe at certain levels or unsafe. The bills also give the FDA the ability to recall and stop the manufacture of products that pose serious health risks to consumers. The bills also authorize the FDA to collect industry fees to finance the agency’s safety reviews and oversight.

The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.

                                                                      Early January 2019
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