Top 3 News Stories This Week (Cheerios, Triclosan, and Flame Retardants)

cheerios by by beckyhansmeyer

Here’s what caught my attention this week in the news in the world of healthy, green living and environmental health. Lots going on!

1. Cheerios to remove GMO ingredients.

This surprised me. General Mills responding to the GMO movement? This is just another reminder of the power of activists and regular people, consumers, demanding cleaner, healthier food. On the flip side, some see this as a shallow move to appease customers and sell more cereal, especially since the main ingredient didn’t contain GMOs to begin with.  And, it turns out, only regular Cheerios will be GMO free. Other flavors will not. While I think this is a half measure, it is still progress in the name of the environment and cleaning up our food supply.

2.  FDA issues a proposed rule to regulate Triclosan

Triclosan is a chemical that is in many anti-bacterial soaps. It has been linked to bacterial resistance to antibiotics and hormone disruption. Hormone disruption and can numerous negative health effects such as early puberty, reproductive system problems, obesity, and links to certain types of cancers.

I’ve written about triclosan here many times before and was happy to see the FDA and the EPA working to regulate triclosan and to education consumers. This is an unnecessary exposure to a harmful chemical. Research tells us that washing hands with regular soap and water are the safest ways to stay healthy. Pass this along to your friends and family who still use antibacterial soaps– they may be creating superbugs and harming their health in the process of washing their hands!

3.  Flame retardants. Progress, far from victory.

As of January 1, companies are no longer required to use toxic flame retardants in their furniture in California. But these chemicals are not banned – companies can still add them to your furniture! While this is progress, and we will see many more options for flame retardant free furniture, we need federal reform to protect human health. In the meantime, here is a great resource from our friends at the Green Policy Institute. 

Unfortunately, as we move toward toxic flame retardant free furniture, all the existing furniture will leave a toxic legacy. It will also greaten the environmental justice divide, between those who have older furniture, and those who can afford new, safer furniture. This piece discusses these issues facing our country during this transition.

That’s what I have been reading this week. What about you? Stay warm out there, readers!



4 Responses to Top 3 News Stories This Week (Cheerios, Triclosan, and Flame Retardants)

  1. Stephen January 9, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

    Hello Katy,

    Thanks for spreading the good news about the flame retardant policy changes, and for bringing such clarity to your description of the successes and the challenges still ahead.

    I work with the Green Science Policy Institute and we are always happy to connect with others looking to make a world with a more sensible and healthy chemical landscape.

    Thank you for linking to our post and our consumer fact sheet. You might be interested to know that there is a hot-off-the-presses version available now with all the latest info.

    Any readers looking for more info are invited to browse our newly redesigned website to learn more and get involved the fight to get toxic flame retardants out of our couches, carpets, walls and bodies.

    Green Science Policy Institute

    • Katy January 17, 2014 at 7:05 am #

      Thanks Stephen! We love the Green Policy Institute. Thanks for the updated link and keep up the great work!

  2. Flyttebyrå Oslo February 17, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    Thanks for discussing your ideas. Life is full of unexpected options, thougths and happenings. Just what furnishings to have. What layout to enjoy. Just what ideas to welcome. Oh well. I’m easily held away, but I merely intended to state thanks.


  1. Katy Farber » New Posts on MomsRising, Moms Clean Air Force, and Non-Toxic Kids - January 12, 2014

    […] Non-Toxic Kids, I reviewed the top 3 stories of the week. GMO free Cheerios, new flame retardant rules, and Triclosan under review by the FDA top the list.  The issues to report on and decisions to make as a parent […]

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