Why I Pass on Proctor & Gamble

There has been a lot of buzz recently regarding Herbal Essences animal testing. This is unacceptable, yet comes at no surprise.  Herbal Essences is a brand that is marketed as being ‘natural’. Have you ever looked at the ingredient list? The following are the

ingredients in a Herbal Essences shampoo (Herbal Essences Hello Hydration 2 N 1 Shampoo & Conditioner Orchid & Coconut Milk) that I used years ago:

“Water, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Glycol Distearate, Dimethicone, Ammonium Xylenesulfonate,….Full list here.

These do not appear overly natural to me.  According to Cosmetics Database this shampoo scores a 5/10 for toxicity which is a moderate score.

Yukky ingredients aside, do you really want to support a company that (among other things):

“• Herbal Essences have repeatedly force-fed one of their chemical ingredients to scores of pregnant animals – and then slaughtered the mothers and their offspring. (Source: Daston, GP (2004) ‘Developmental Toxicity Evaluation of Butylparaben in Sprague-Dawley Rats’. Birth DefectsResearch (Part B),71: 296-302.)

• Each animal was put in solitary confinement, depriving them of the warmth and comfort of their fellow creatures. Their wire cages can cause suffering due to foot ulcers and other injuries.”

-taken from www.hurtfulessences.org

Signing the petition to boycott Herbal Essences is a great place to start, still we need to take a look at the big picture:

Herbal Essences is owned by the mighty Proctor and Gamble. They make many products that you likely purchase on a regular basis. You may be under the impression that this incident is isolated and we should trust all of their other products. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that, from what we know so far their new tagline should be ” Buy our products, who gives a sh*t what goes into them or how we conduct testing”

I’ll  Pass on Proctor & Gamble

Their website has a list of their brands. Scanning the list I am sad to say, that while my house is getting pretty close to green I still have 2 products on the list; Old Spice Deodorant for my husband (we have yet to find a feasible natural alternative) and Pepto Bismol. Take a look at the products list to see what you purchase from them.

Ask yourself “Is Proctor and Gamble  the company I want to be handing money to?”

Besides the sake of convenience of brands you already know, what real reasons do you have for purchasing these products? Do you think the Old Spice Guy is hilarious? (I do) or that you won’t  be Easy, Breezy and Beautiful, if you don’t buy Cover Girl?  We are obsessed with Proctor and Gambles marketing, which is no surprise, we would be obsessed with anything that had that kind of multi million dollar advertising budget.

All this makes me wonder, if all was created equal and our heads were not filled with propaganda, and labels truthfully stated what was in the product (remember that personal care products are not legally obliged to include all ingredients), and a companies practices were on display. Would we have still chosen Herbal Essences or Oil of Olay in the first place?

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Photo credit :eliazar and jolluUK on Flickr

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