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
New research shows chemicals in two dozen products
Washington, DC — Today, the Mind the Store campaign, joined by health advocates across the country, launched a national “week of action” to urge the nation’s second largest grocery chain, Albertsons, and its subsidiaries like Safeway 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 chemicals, as Walmart, Target and other retailers have done. For this week of action, advocates will be demonstrating outside stores across the country holding signs and distributing leaflets to customers while donning Hawaiian shirts, pool floats, and other summer essentials to underscore the omnipresence of these chemicals in our daily lives. Advocates will also be distributing petitions and making calls to the company’s headquarters.
The week of action is supported by new research revealing toxic chemicals in two dozen 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.
“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 more than 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 participating in this week of action are in 16 states including: Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and Washington DC.
For information about the national Albertsons week of action and the Mind the Store campaign, please go to MindTheStore.org.
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