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Companies push update of U.S. chemical safety laws

Naturepedic co-founder joins in cause

WASHINGTON — Naturepedic co-founder Barry Cik is among the founders of a new coalition formed to press Congress to modernize the nation's chemical safety laws.

The coalition, Companies for Safer Chemicals, will make a business argument for strong reforms that support the creation of safer and cleaner products, officials said.

"Manufacturers today face no liability when they put toxic chemicals in baby products and this has to stop," said Cik. "We need more manufacturers to join the coalition and change the way things are done."

He said Naturepedic and its Lullaby Earth brand will lend their support to the coalition.

Among the other founding members of the coalition, led by Seventh Generation and the American Sustainable Business Council, include Patagonia, Stonyfield Farm, Aubrey Organics, Method, Badger, Annie's, Eileen Fisher, Zarbee's Naturals, Keys, Think Dirty and Beautycounter.

Coalition members have signed a declaration which reads, in part:

"As companies and business leaders we're asking Congress to pass comprehensive and effective chemical safety reform legislation now. Chemical policy reform must protect the most vulnerable among us, and require public access to information regarding the safety of chemicals. Reform must respect the rights of states to protect their residents when the federal government fails to do so, and require the Environmental Protection Agency to take fast action on the most harmful chemicals. Right now the Chemical Safety Improvement Act does NOT meet these criteria. Guided by good science, legislation can drive business innovation and success, and protect public health."

"Federal chemical reform is desperately needed, but after 25 years of doing business, we know we can't do it alone," said John Replogle, CEO of Seventh Generation. "We're honored to be joined by such a diverse group of socially responsible businesses and we're looking forward to driving change that will protect the health of future generations."

"Meaningful reform will speed to market cleaner and safer products and allow companies to meet increasing consumer demand," added David Levine, CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council. "Effective policy reform will drive economic growth and job creation."

The American Sustainable Business Council and its member organizations represent more than 200,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 300,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors. The council includes chambers of commerce, trade associations and groups representing small business, investors, microenterprise, social enterprise, green and sustainable business, local living economy and women and minority business leaders.

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