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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Food & Water Watch Lauds Canadian Medical Association’s Stance Against Triclosan
Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch Executive Director
“Regulated by both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), triclosan is commonly found in hand soaps, toothpastes, deodorants, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, facial tissues, antiseptics, fabrics, toys, and medical devices. Scientific studies indicate that widespread use of triclosan causes a number of health and environmental problems. Chief among those is resistance to antibiotic medications and bacterial cleansers and disruption of hormone cycles. As triclosan is toxic to algae, a key indicator of aquatic health and the cornerstone of the food system, accumulation of the pesticide in waterways is especially dangerous. In June, a joint research study issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Environment Canada; and the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University found that for the first time, triclosan is showing up in the bloodstream of marine mammals.
“The Canadian Medical Association’s resolution echoes a statement issued in 2000 by the American Medical Association that found little evidence to support the efficacy of antimicrobials in consumer products, and announced that it would be ‘prudent to avoid their use’ in such applications, given the risk of antimicrobial resistance. No further action has been taken by the American Medical Association on triclosan since that statement was released. In July of this year, Food & Water Watch partnered with the environmental and public health organization Beyond Pesticides to submit a petition to FDA asking that it ban triclosan from all non-medical applications on the basis that those uses violate the Federal, Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act.
“In the face of government inaction, a number of utilities around the country, including California’s East Bay Municipal Utility District and Palo Alto’s water utility have encouraged citizens to limit their use of triclosan. For it’s part, Food & Water Watch is working to raise public awareness and educate consumers about the problems associated with triclosan. As of September, 2009, some 1,900 activists have taken our pledge to not purchase products that contain this pesticide. Food & Water Watch applauds the Canadian Medical Association for its commitment to protecting consumers from this dangerous and unnecessary pesticide and urges FDA to follow suit by banning the use of triclosan in consumer products.”