EPA ‘Safer Choice’ Label Program, Criteria Under Fire

From Daily Environment Report™
By Pat Rizzuto

safer-choice-logo-jpgDoes a detergent that Procter & Gamble Co. makes merit a ‘safer’ label designation? The issue has re-ignited a debate among trade association executives over the type of analysis needed to justify such labels.

Some sections of the chemical industry would like to see the Environmental Protection Agency adopt a risk-based approach that would consider additional factors when determining what products qualify for a Safer Choice label. However, other business voices and environmental advocates have voiced opposition to such a move, which one chemical industry specialist said could lead to endless debates over chemical risk estimates.

The debate over the EPA’s approach to reviewing products occurs as continued funding for the Safer Choice program is uncertain: the White House’s fiscal year 2018 budget request would zero out funding for those activities.

Three CEOs recently discussed the future of the Safer Choice program, a voluntary initiative through which companies can demonstrate that their products are made with chemicals that are safer or more environmentally-friendly than alternatives. Companies seek the Safer Choice label to show customers that there are eco-friendly, less toxic household products on the market.“Chemicals in commerce should be assessed based on their risk and exposure,” Cal Dooley, president and CEO of the American Chemistry Council said May 18 during the Consumer Specialty Products Association’s mid-year meeting. “We will consistently oppose any assessment of chemicals that is based on a hazard-only approach,” he said.

The CEO for another trade association and chemical policy specialists from environmental and labor groups argued that hazard-based approaches present clear criteria consumers can trust.

Read the full article on the BNA website.