July 21, 2017
Health Advocates Call On Albertsons To Ban Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Products
Mind the Store along with Health Advocacy Groups Around the Country Launch Week of Action Calling on Albertsons to Remove Toxic Chemicals from its Shelves in a Dozen States
(White Plains, NY) Clean and Healthy New York and The Mind the Store campaign, joined health advocates across the country to launch a national “week of action” to urge the nation’s second largest grocery chain, Albertsons, and its subsidiaries like ACME Markets to stop selling products containing or packaged with toxic chemicals such as lead, formaldehyde, parabens, and BPA.
The campaign is calling on the supermarket giant to announce a safer chemicals policy to reduce and eliminate toxic chemcals, as Walmart, Target, and other retailers have done. For this week of action, advocates are demonstrating outside stores across the country; holding signs and distributing leaflets to customers, while also delivering letters to store managers.
The week of action is supported by new research revealing toxic chemicals in two dozen cleaning products sold by Albertsons, including lead in the handles of summer barbeque basting and cleaning brushes, formaldehyde releasers, parabens, fragrance, and other toxic chemicals in personal care and cleaning products.
"We are here in Westchester County, which passed legislation to ban certain harmful chemicals in children's products, to talk about a corporation that sells those same chemicals in products for grilling out, and other harmful chemicals in kids' pool toys. ACME Markets' parent company, Albertsons, needs to act across the country to address these harmful chemicals" said Kathy Curtis, Executive Director of Clean and Healthy New York.
"This summer, it's time for Albertsons to turn up the heat on toxic chemicals" said Mike Schade, Mind the Store Campaign Director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. "As one of the nation's largest retailers, Albertsons should wield its market power to drive dangerous chemicals out of products. If retailers like Walmart and Target can do it, so can Albertsons."
Last fall, in a report card rating retailer actions to eliminate toxic chemicals, Albertsons received the third lowest grade of eleven retailers evaluated, with a letter grade of F and only 12.5 out of 130 possible points. Albertsons has no public safer chemicals policy in place. While the company has reported some progress in reducing the use of BPA in canned foods, it has not disclosed a timeframe or plan for completely eliminating and safely substituting BPA in canned foods.
The week of action is led by the Mind the Store campaign, a project of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. The campaign has already collected 130,000 signatures from consumers calling on Albertsons to remove BPA from its canned food and develop a comprehensive chemicals policy. In May, the group co-released a new report that found toxic BPA in nearly 40% of food cans tested from the nation’s largest grocery stores and dollar store chains. The campaign found that Albertsons continues to sell food cans lined with toxic BPA. 36% of Albertsons “private-label” food cans tested positive for this harmful chemical. While that demonstrates notable progress since last year, more work is still clearly needed.
“Albertsons should make a splash with toxic-free products,” said Tracy Gregoire, Healthy Children Project Coordinator for the Learning Disabilities Association of America. “Lead and other toxic chemicals linked to learning disabilities, autism, ADHD and other challenges have no place in everyday consumer products.”
Groups are participating in this week of action are in morethan a dozen states including: Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Washington DC.
For information about the national Albertsons week of action and the Mind the Store campaign, please go to MindTheStore.org.