Why are we still purchasing toxins from retailers to fast food ?
by Dr. Alan Kadish NMD
There has and continues to be clear messages to retailers and manufacturers that using toxic products is not acceptable for their image, products, the environment and especially your family.
So what changes have taken place and who’s taking the issue of toxic products/foods to heart. The third annual Who’s Minding the Store? A Report Card on Retailer Actions to Eliminate Toxic Chemicals evaluated and graded the chemical policies and practices of 40 of the largest North American retailers, including grocery and fast food chains, as part of Safer Chemicals Healthy Families’ Mind the Store campaign
Toxic deadly chemicals
You may recall reading or hearing about a number of deaths of young adults from common products sold in many major retail stores. Methylene chloride & NMP, chemicals found in paint strippers, have been implicated in killing a number of individuals. In April of 2018 a young 31 year old was killed by the same chemicals, found in Goof Off tm. The family was not willing to stay quiet. They mounted a campaign to stop the chemicals sale to consumers.
What happened to create the energy to make a change ? Consumers voted with their dollars and made their desires heard vociferously and some retailers felt the impact and made a change. (Lowe’s)
The Safer Chemicals Healthy Families’ Mind the Store campaign report also includes some fast food chains and retailers. They included the often forgotten packaging as another avenue of toxic chemical exposures. Remember the small product in a small box, with lots of styrofoam or other packing ? How about the so called green products that also came wrapped in loads of plastic ?
The A list retailers (small list)
Who makes the A list, only four retailers received the A grade for their efforts, protecting customers from toxic products and packaging. At some point it’s not surprising to see that their social messages really have the rubber meeting the road: Apple (A+), Target (A), Walmart(A-) and IKEA (A-) .
As part of the evaluation campaign the Safer Chemical Healthy Family evaluated which retailers/food groups are making strides toward less toxic uses and exposures. Drum roll,,,,,,who’s the “most improved”, Walgreens (B-), Rite Aid (B+), and Amazon (C).
Most companies still not there
There is bad news, as many firms still don’t get “it”. The impactfulness of decreasing toxic exposures both for their employees and ultimately the consumer and environment is a serious commitment. As we can see from this 3rd year campaign, there are changes being make in corporate groups, however companies many still give lip service to this critical issue.
The vast majority of companies seem to not appreciate that the current consumers are more educated, aware and desire that they make their purchasing decisions based on safely replace toxic chemicals in their products and foods.
Retailers / Failures
The fact that ~50% of retailers in the Who’s Minding the Store ? report received an F is obviously troubling. These companies typically failed to announce policies or publicly report progress to assess, reduce or eliminate toxic chemicals in the products or packaging.
There is some good news, the report is having an effect as a majority of even those poorly rated have shown improvements. They typically started developing new chemical safety policies, banning chemicals of concern and expanding their chemical bans to new products.
This is the first year of including chain restaurants. Your probably wondering how could they earn an F. Let’s revisit the policy issues or lack thereof and then think about the wrappings of your last juicy burger or pizza box, as examples of exposures. The paper wrap typically contains chemicals similar to teflon or one of it’s chemical cousins (PAFS). This keeps your clean from the grease, but puts you at risk. And there is a new report that the contamination problem may be increasing
So what’s happening at your fast food chain? Six were evaluated representing 10 brands, with all companies earning Fs. They include: Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s, Panera, Pizza Hut, Popeyes, Taco Bell, Tim Hortons, Starbucks, and Subway.
You can vote with your dollars and voice to make substantial changes in the way we treat toxic exposures from retailers to your favorite food joint.
Check if your state has an active group working to change exposure policy.
For a full list of the evaluated companies and their grades, and to contact companies to demand chemical safety improvements, visit RetailerReportCard.com.
And yes this is the short list of the toxins and retailers…. for more on the subject and other reading materials Register for our newsletter for the next steps.
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