Friday, November 30, 2007

What Would Jesus Buy?

My friend Javier sent me a link to the trailer for this documentary. I'm sure the film touches on sustainability in many ways. Toys, possibly made from phthalates, in a country having social equity gripes (China). The film is also supposed to be funny. I think I'll see it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Climate Change Legislation

The U.S. Senate is working on a bill, co-sponsored by Senators Lieberman and Warner, that would require cuts in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Opponents, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, cite huge numbers without explanation. According to the Chamber of Commerce stated "If this bill becomes law, 3.4 million Americans will lose their jobs. American GDP will decline by $1 trillion. And American consumers will be forced to pay as much as $6 trillion to cope with carbon constraints." Here's a link to the depth the Chamber has sunk to.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tyson Foods -- Antibiotic Chicken?

Nope. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has withdrawn its approval for Tyson's "raised without antibiotics" label. The Company apparently feeds the birds animal medication called ionophores. Read

Friday, November 16, 2007

Eichler Homes Bring The Outdoors In

The San Jose Mercury News carried this article on 11/15/07.

New Link To European Commission Safety News

I've added a link to the safety news page of Europa's web site. In paging through the site, I think it's interesting to note that the perspectives of the Europeans and Americans concerning consumer safety are quite different. The EU apparently assesses the inherent toxicity of a substance and based on an accumulation of evidence determine that its potential to cause harm is enough to remove it from the market. In contrast, American regulatory authorities seem to wait for conclusive scientific evidence of toxic exposure before acting.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ingredients in Yoga and Other Workout Clothes

The New York Times reports that it commissioned laboratory tests of a VitaSea shirt, one of the Lululemon Athletica lines, to determine whether claims by the company that the fabric purportedly containing seaweed "releases marine amino acids, minerals and vitamins into the skin upon contact with moisture." Results? According to the Times, "there was no significant difference in mineral levels between the VitaSea fabric and cotton T-shirts. In other words, the labs found no evidence of seaweed in the Lululemon clothing." Lululemon founder and Chairman Dennis Wilson reportedly could not dispute the Times' findings.

This kind of behavior by a company, particularly a publicly-held company, is no different than lying in financial statements. The need for transparency is equally applicable, whether in a product's characteristics or in the financial statements submitted to the SEC.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Thinks Consumers Are Stupid

This morning's New York Times reports that the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has as of January 1, 2008 banned labeling on dairy products that informs consumers of the absence of artificial bovine growth hormones. The Pennsylvania agriculture secretary reportedly said that such absence labeling confuses consumers because it implies "there is a safe, nonsafe dimension." The ban will reportedly extend to "pesticide free" and "antibiotic free". The secretary's position seems like a long stretch. It undercuts consumer rights to transparency -- whether in the context of food labeling, cosmetics & body care product labeling or corporate financial statements.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Organic Milk Produced By Aurora Organic Dairy?

Not. Here's the link to the consent agreement entered into between the United States Department of Agriculture and Aurora Organic Dairy and another to Q&As on the Aurora Consent Agreement.

I understand that Aurora sold purported organic milk to many retailers, including Costco (sold under "Kirkland" label), Safeway (sold under "O Organics" label), Publix (sold under "High Meadows" label), Giant (sold under "Nature's Promise" label), Wild Oats and others.

Anyone who has further interest in Aurora's apparent misleading branding, let me know.