The True Religion

Lead in Lipstick? Coal Tar in Shampoo? As New Bill Calls for Stricter Rules on Beauty Products, a Debate Between Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Founder and Cosmetics Industry Spokesperson. – Democracy NOW!

Here’s an excerpt from the DN look at Annie Leonard’s review of the cosmetics industry’s record of selling crap to people. The excerpt is in fact from the introduction of a video (The Story Of Cosmetics) by Leonard and the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics:

** ANNIE LEONARD: At the store, the choices seem endless. I can get lipstick in forty-nine shades or shampoo for hair that’s too dry, oily, fine, limp or frizzy. But what about the choices that really matter, like the choice to buy products that are safe? It turns out the important decisions don’t happen when I choose to take a product off the shelf; they happen when companies and governments decide what products should go on the shelves.

So, who are these companies? This is Proctor and Gamble. They’re the ones offering me Herbal Essences, the number two shampoo in the country. It contains toxic petrochemicals made from oil. Since when is oil an herb? On cosmetic labels, words like “herbal,” “natural,” even “organic,” have no legal definition. That means that anybody can put anything in a bottle and call it “natural.” And they do. I mean, can you imagine a top seller called Petro Essences? Gross! What’s even nastier are hair relaxers marketed to five-year-olds and skin-whitening creams. These are super toxic, both in their ingredients and in the message they send about what beauty is.

Ooh, here’s Estée Lauder offering me a chance to help find a cure for breast cancer! That’s nice. But wait. They’re also using chemical linked to cancer. Don’t you think the best way for Estée Lauder to fight cancer is to stop using those chemicals in the first place? So, really, I get to choose between meaningless claims on a bottle, but these guys get the real choice about what goes into those bottles.

And that happens back here, at the factories where they’re formulated. Why do the makers of these products use all these toxics? Are they trying to poison us? No, they’re just working from a 1950s mindset when people were totally swept up in better living through chemistry. In all that excitement, they forgot to worry about human health impacts. That was years ago, and they’re still using these same old toxic chemicals.

Today, big cosmetics companies say the doses of poison in their products are small enough to be harmless. Yeah, maybe if you use them once a year. I guess they never get out and see that their products are being used and combined with other products every day. A little toxic dose under your arms, a little more on your hair, on your lips. And workers in nail and hair salons get dosed all day long.

So the industry is used to doing things this way. And they can, because even now that scientists have linked the chemicals they’re using to all sorts of problems, there are no laws to get rid of them. You’re thinking, “Really? Come on. Nobody’s making sure that the stuff we smear all over our bodies is safe?” Nope. The FDA doesn’t even assess the safety of personal care products or their ingredients. Since 1938, they’ve banned just eight out of over 12,000 ingredients used in cosmetics. They don’t even require that all of the ingredients be listed on the label. **

People are not always religious, in a conventional sense. But they sure believe in their capitalism and just couldn’t be bothered thinking about it. They will be bothered by cancer and other diseases caused by their precious capitalism however, never bothering to connect the frikking obvious dots. Duh!

I posted something previously about my surprise at finding that a major leftwing personality, Alexander Cockburn, was in fact a climate change denier. It floored me, because in every other respect, Alexander Cockburn’s work in promoting social justice is vital and to be supported. See my previous post titled Cockburn’s Religion And My Science. The simple argument I made was that you have all these capitalists happily creating all these chemicals and products made out of them and selling them in our holy money system, with less and less restraints on how they do what they do and next to zero consideration of whether what they do is acceptable. Therefore you can’t expect that kind of uncontrolled experimentation on people, and on the complex network of ecosystems that people and all life on earth depend on, to have a positive outcome. It’s just not reasonable.

Neoliberal capitalism is about more freedom for capitalists, which they are never satisfied with, which is why they continually clamour for more. They want more freedom for themselves and their corporations and it doesn’t matter how they get it. But really, When that freedom involves freedom from health and workplace safety regulations and environmental protection rules, then that has consequences for all else that these capitalist rulers do in pursuit of the better life for a minority. How so?

If you’re willing to experiment on the public with your chemical creations, in cosmetics, food and whatever, then you, as intelligent people, well know that there will be some bad reactions to products that people are trustingly buying. Therefore, You have to factor that into all you do, so that what you will then need to do is circumvent the negative political, legal fallout from all of that. Even dummies will notice when they are sick. And not all consumers, despite liking the blue pill, are dummies. Some of those victims of experimentation by capitalists will forget that they are simply reaping what they’ve sown and will feel indignation at the companies that have made them sick and, because they are of the comfortable class, they will attempt to act like they have the freedom and clout they think they have. And they do have relatively more freedom and clout than those outside their class. And so, They will litigate.

You will need to enlist the services of governments who establish or don’t establish regulations and you will need the assistance of the advertizing industry, which has a stake in the outcome of all businesses in this laisezz faire system. Check and check.

And the people are okay with all that. Yikes!

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