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P&G to disclose some ingredients

9 April 2009 1,443 views No Comment

What exactly is Mr. Clean made of? Come January, consumers should have a better idea, when Procter & Gamble goes live with a Web site revealing ingredients of many its household products.


Under some pressure from environmental groups, consumers and others, Cincinnati-based P&G is joining other manufacturers in offering more information about what’s in widely used household cleaning products.

Although consumers have long had label information about food ingredients, a list of what’s in cleaners and detergents used around the house has not been readily available. P&G has chosen the Internet to disclose its ingredients under a program coordinated by two industry groups. Other options included labeling the products or setting up a toll-free number for information.

“This allows us to give consumers some context; to communicate to them and to educate them as well,” said P&G spokesman Ross Holthouse.

The site will have information about P&G’s household care, laundry and cleaning products sold in North America, including Mr. Clean, Tide, Febreze, Swiffer, Downy, and Bounce.

When available, P&G’s site should be accessible through www.pg.com.

The information will not be comprehensive. There won’t be full information about the content of dyes and fragrances used in the products or about raw materials P&G considers proprietary, Holthouse said.

That’s one reason why the effort will fall short of what a recent lawsuit filed in New York state seeks, said Keri Powell, a lawyer for environmental group Earthjustice. “It’s important that we get full disclosure of all the ingredients,” Powell said.

Earthjustice and other environmental groups filed the lawsuit in February against P&G and several other manufacturers, saying a 1970s-era state law requires them to disclose product ingredients.

Powell said a recent decision by SC Johnson will satisfy the New York law. The Racine, Wisc.-based company, whose products include Windex, Glade and Pledge, is labeling its products, and creating a Web site and toll-free number for information. To protect trade secrets, the company is not disclosing actual ingredients of fragrances, but all potential ingredients.

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