Holding Markets Accountable for the Products on Their Shelves
I’ve always been concerned about toxic chemicals in products and tried as much as possible to stay away from things that I know are likely to have harmful chemicals in them—like canned food, cleaners, and personal care products. I’ve also taught my 3 children to choose safer alternatives when they can. So it’s infuriating to learn that large retailers, like Albertsons and their subsidiary Shaw’s, have not worked more aggressively with suppliers to get safer products on their store shelves.
That’s why I joined the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy CT and Clean Water Action in a day of action at Shaw’s in Sturbridge, MA on July 20th. We met the store manager, shared our concerns about the health impacts of toxic chemicals in products, showed him Mind the Store’s recent retailer report card, and talked about different chemicals found in products including lead in a barbecue spatula! The manager was very nice and promised to share this with his supervisors and corporate leaders as he had no idea about this issue.
We also talked with over 50 customers who were aware of things like BPA in cans and harmful chemicals in personal care products and cleaning products. Most took our flyer and promised to make calls to the corporate headquarters. I spoke at length with a person stocking snacks and chips who was outraged to learn about this and very appreciative. It was great to see him so fired up and I felt good knowing that a new advocate will take action!
Participating in this event was part of a national week of action led by concerned advocates across the country. I felt proud to be a part of a team that is making a difference on an issue that I care about so deeply. Plus, it was nice to have so many customers thank us for being out there sharing this information!