“Sure, I want a little bit of those ingredients linked to lung irritation, cancer and birth defects in my cleaning products,” said no consumer ever.
“Sure, it might cause behavioral issues in my child and seemed to cause DNA damage in mice, but I want my child’s food to contain it anyway,” of course no parent would say.
By default, this is what is happening when we choose products without doing the research beforehand. The point of sale is not where you can count on getting all the information you need to make informed shopping decisions. US consumers have an unfair burden to determine what exactly is in the products we buy and whether they might harm our children.
We live in a time when products sold in the United States have not undergone the scrutiny for safety that you might assume they have. Most of time, consumers are left in the dark, with a “trust us” attitude from the industries that manufacture the products making our lives so convenient. Efforts like Mind the Store are asking major retailers to pay attention. Americans want labeling of genetically modified food linked to increased pesticide use, yet it still hasn’t happened. While both government and established industry drag their feet, a few innovative businesses are listening to the health, safety and environmental concerns. Their responsiveness to consumers is creating what ShiftCon founder Leah Segedie describes as a shift in the marketplace.
This shift was evident when hundreds gathered in Los Angeles earlier in this year for the first ever ShiftCon eco-wellness conference. Segedie invited businesses with an earnest sense of environmental and health-minded integrity to attend. Many businesses were simply not welcome if they did not share in values like doing right by people and the planet we call home, if they weren’t transparent about ingredients and working toward the healthiest products possible.
These businesses had the opportunity to connect in person with numerous nonprofits that have been working long-term for solutions to big issues — from breast cancer prevention and healthy pregnancies to food security and climate change. They also connected with bloggers who’ve long been reporting about eco-wellness, green issues that matter to our everyday lives. Many who showed up for ShiftCon were already networking in the broad coalition called Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, that prompted my participation.
Want to know more about this marketplace shift, what leaders in a movement toward healthier, safer products are saying, and plans for the 2015 ShiftCon?
Join me on Twitter at @FlourSackMama and several other bloggers plus nonprofits and brands for a special #ShiftHappens Twitter party today, November 12th at 9 pm Eastern. You can RSVP here and be sure to register for lots of great prizes! Look forward to chatting with you there along with many ShiftCon friends!
Then mark your calendar for two more fun Twitter parties on November 20th! Flour Sack Mama and Clean Couponing will be hosting one. More about those soon.