Tag Archives: Walmart

Keep toxic chemicals off store shelves

Union of Concerned Scientists
If there’s one question UCS gets asked a lot it’s this: “Why don’t you folks all work together?” But here at the Union of Concerned Scientists, collaboration is a guiding principle. We partner with many of the nation’s leading scientists, environmental and consumer protection organizations, and decision-makers in government to achieve our common goal: a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.
Right now, we’re teaming up with our friends at the League of Conservation Voters to pressure top retailers to keep hazardous chemicals out of their products.
Join us in taking action with the League of Conservation Voters. Send a message now asking the nation’s biggest retailers to keep toxic chemicals off their shelves >>
For years, UCS has worked as part of the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families Coalition to ensure that policy makers and consumers have access to accurate scientific information about the toxic chemicals in our communities and consumer products. Like you, we believe that people need access to adequate information about toxics if they are to make informed decisions that protect the health of their families. Now you can take the next step by taking action with the League of Conservation Voters to urge retailers to take toxic chemicals out of their stores. Tell our nation’s biggest retailers to take toxic chemicals out of their stores! Add your name to our petition for safe products here >>

Want to keep harmful chemicals out of our everyday products?

When you stopped to grab a bottle of shampoo, did anyone tell you that it could contain cancer-causing chemicals? Have you checked if that shirt you bought is kept wrinkle-free by formaldehyde? Do you know if that couch you bought is releasing chemicals that could harm your children’s mental development?
Most of the time, I don’t. It’s impossible to know all the right questions to ask when we go to the store to keep ourselves and our families safe. And frankly, it shouldn’t be our job. The stores where we shop should watch out for us by asking their suppliers to keep toxic chemicals out of their products. But they won’t do it unless we make them.
Sign our petition urging the biggest retailers to keep products with toxic chemicals off their shelves now >>
In April, we joined with the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition on a campaign called “Mind the Store,” which asks major retailers to protect us by keeping the Hazardous 100+ toxic chemicals out of their products.
More than 40,000 people took action and we were heard! Target and Walmart responded to our petition by announcing that they would take some of the most dangerous chemicals out of the products they sell.
Now we need your help to make sure that other major retailers like Walgreens, Costco, and Safeway follow suit. These retailers are often stuck in the same place we are. Our broken federal laws mean they have limited access to basic health and safety information on toxic chemicals sold in their very own stores.
But they have the power to ask the questions and make the demands to keep us safe. And as we saw with Target and Walmart, if they hear from enough of their customers, these major retailers will tell their suppliers to take theseHazardous 100+ chemicals out of their products.
So help us show these major retailers that their customers are demanding toxic-free products. Sign our petition here >>
Our nation’s chemical laws may be broken, but we don’t have to wait for progress in Washington to start making our stores and homes safer.
With your voice and the thousands of others dedicated to creating safer chemicals that will lead to healthier families, we can create real change and accountability for the suppliers now and make sure our neighbors are minding their stores!

Sincerely, Vanessa Kritzer Vanessa Kritzer Online Campaigns Manager League of Conservation Voters

Toxic T-shirts?

ZARA is using cancer causing chemicals and polluting the world’s waters.Toxic Water in ChinaIt’s time Zara cleaned up its act. Send a message now urging it to detox by 2020!


For months, Greenpeace conducted research into many of the world’s top clothing brands and found disturbing news — ZARA, along with several other retailers — is polluting waters in China with hazardous chemicals.

Those chemicals then wash into our waters when we rinse our clothes. Most of the fashion industry is treating public waterways like its own private sewers.

It’s time we eliminate hormone-disrupting chemicals from the world’s waters before it’s too late. That’s why we’re challenging some of the most popular clothing brands to eliminate toxic chemicals from its process by 2020 — and we need your help.

If 40,000 of us send a message to ZARA in the next 48 hours it will encourage the company to take the pledge to detox its clothing and stop the use of hazardous chemicals.


Let’s face it, beautiful fashion shouldn’t cause toxic pollution. H&M and British retailer Marks & Spencer know that. These companies have committed to eliminating all toxic chemicals from its supply chains and products. But ZARA, one of the world’s biggest fast fashion retailers, remains silent.

ZARA is famously responsive to trends and keeps a close watch on buzz about its brand. If all of us can pressure the company to follow in the footsteps of those who have committed to clean up its act, this is one trend it won’t be able to ignore.

We know it’s possible to clean up the toxics, we’ve seen it happen before. Thanks to you, the detox campaign secured commitments from Puma, Adidas and other sports apparel makers to clean up their practices and detox their line by 2020. So it can be done, but we’ll need your help.

Reach out to ZARA right now with an urgent message to clean up its practices and detox today.


As consumers your voice is critical to convincing ZARA and other companies to do the right thing. If the company responds the rest of the industry could follow, so it’s urgent we act now.

Thanks for your help,

John Deans
Greenpeace Toxics Campaigner

the other Washington … in the news Jan 2014

PDF of today's Seattle Times front page

Wall Street plans on:”SocialInvestments” to reduce inmates-pilot prog2016 like Rikers-Goldman Sachs…written by Austin Jenkins

Boeing raked in $1.23billion

State ‘Dream Act’ set to pass after Republicans’ about-face



Starbucks – Recall for coffee presses

Guest: Providing for the health of urban American Indians 

WA State Senate: It looks like Washington’s Democratic Party, which has said it would mount a challenge to Rodney Tom—the Democratic senator who cast his lot in with the Republicans this session to give them the majority, in exchange for becoming majority leader—are seriously following through. The buzz is that Joan McBride, the former mayor of Kirkland (pop. 49,000, though only part of that is in LD-48),

will announce a run this week.

That’s only part of the battle, though. Given Washington’s top-two primary format, a solid GOP opponent may also be necessary, in order to block Tom from surviving the primary. Even though Tom’s 48th District went 62 percent for Obama in 2012, a McBride vs. Tom general election runs the risk of being a reprise of CT-Sen ’06, if Tom can vacuum up all of the district’s Republican votes, plus enough centrist Dem and indie votes to win. (David Jarman) dailykos.com

State Will Need to Find $2.4B to Ease Salmon Barriers | Public Data Ferret

Japanese Woman Dies after Heavy-Set Police Officer Sits on Her

Mariners, MLB will start using metal detectors | NW Briefs

There have been many reactions to Governor Jay Inslee’s call this week to increase the state minimum wage. Some skeptics believe that raising the minimum wage will cause low-wage jobs to be lost. However, Arindrajit Dube, a University of Massachusetts economist and a leading researcher on minimum wage, shares his findings on the effects of raising minimum wage. Dube and fellow economists, T. William Lester and Michael Reich, looked at minimum wage differentials in bordering jurisdictions over a period of two decades. Their conclusion, Dube says: “There is very little evidence of job loss.”

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Invested Millions in Scandal-Plagued Private Prisons, Defense Contractor

Pension proposal draws fire

Bill would move some state workers to 401(k)-style plans

 Boeing to pay $320M Machinists this month

Boeing puts all pensions at risk | Danny Westneat


Judge:   SeaTac’s $15 wage floor    can’t include airport workers

 Make sure your Youth Athlete gets a Complete Check UP

Judge gives go-ahead for charter schools, but raises funding question

A disturbing look at where, how people die in King County

Settlement Agreement Implementation

A day after lawsuit, railroads to offer same-sex benefits  In a reversal, the nation’s largest freight rail carriers announced they will provide health benefits to employees’ same-sex spouses. But the announcement will not stop a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Seattle.

Judge: Skagit County towns shortchange poor defendants


2014: A Year for Change

United States Senator Bernie Sanders
I want to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very happy new year.  I also want to express my gratitude to you for the political support that you have given to me, and for all of your efforts in trying to move our country and the world in the direction of peace, justice and environmental sanity.
As we survey our country at the end of 2013 I don’t have to tell you that the problems facing us are monumental, that the Congress is dysfunctional and that more and more people (especially the young) are, understandably, giving up on the political process.  The people are hurting.  They look to Washington for help.  Nothing is happening.

  • The middle class continues to decline with median family income some $5,000 less than it was in 1999.
  • More Americans, 46.5 million, are now living in poverty than at any time in our nation’s history. Child poverty, at 21.8 percent, is the highest of any major country.
  • Real unemployment is not 7 percent. If one includes those who have given up looking for work and those who want full-time work but are employed part-time, real unemployment is 13.2 percent — and youth unemployment is much higher than that.
  • Most of the new jobs that are being created are part-time work at low wages, but the minimum wage remains at the starvation level of $7.25 per hour.
  • Millions of college students are leaving school deeply in debt, while many others have given up on their dream of a higher education because of the cost.
  • Meanwhile, as tens of millions of Americans struggle to survive economically, the wealthiest people are doing phenomenally well and corporate profits are at an all-time high. In fact, wealth and income inequality today is greater than at any time since just before the Great Depression. One family, the Walton family with its Wal-Mart fortune, now owns more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of Americans. In recent years, 95 percent of all new income has gone to the top 1 percent.
  • The scientific community has been very clear: Global warming is real, it is already causing massive problems and, if we don’t significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the planet we leave to our kids and grandchildren will be less and less habitable.

Clearly, if we are going to save the middle class and protect our planet, we need to change the political dynamics of the nation. We can no longer allow the billionaires and their think tanks or the corporate media to set the agenda. We need to educate, organize and mobilize the working families of our country to stand up for their rights. We need to make government work for all the people, not just the 1 percent.
Before we talk about 2014, let me ask you a favor.  Do you know of friends, family or co-workers who might be interested in receiving our email newsletters and updates?  If you do, please forward this email and encourage them to sign-up for occasional updates. They can sign-up for our emails by clicking here.
When Congress reconvenes for the 2014 session, here are a few of the issues that I will be focusing on.
WEALTH AND INCOME INEQUALITY: A nation will not survive morally or economically when so few have so much while so many have so little. It is simply not acceptable that the top 1 percent owns 38 percent of the financial wealth of the nation, while the bottom 60 percent owns all of 2.3 percent. We need to establish a progressive tax system which asks the wealthy to start paying their fair share of taxes, and which ends the outrageous loopholes that enable one out of four corporations to pay nothing in federal income taxes.
JOBS: We need to make significant investments in our crumbling infrastructure, in energy efficiency and sustainable energy, in early childhood education and in affordable housing. When we do that, we not only improve the quality of life in our country and combat global warming, we also create millions of decent paying new jobs.
WAGES: We need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. We should pass the legislation which will soon be on the Senate floor which increases the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour, but we must raise that minimum wage even higher in the coming years. We also need to expand our efforts at worker-ownership. Employees will not be sending their jobs to China or Vietnam when they own the places in which they work.
RETIREMENT SECURITY: At a time when only one in five workers in the private sector has a defined benefit pension plan; half of Americans have less than $10,000 in savings; and two-thirds of seniors rely on Social Security for more than half of their income we must expand Social Security and make sure that every American can retire with dignity.                           WALL STREET: During the financial crisis, huge Wall Street banks received more than $700 billion in financial aid from the Treasury Department and more than $16 trillion from the Federal Reserve because they were “too big to fail.” Yet today, the largest banks in this country are much bigger than they were before taxpayers bailed them out. It is time to break up these behemoths before they cause another global economic collapse.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM: We are not living in a real democracy when large corporations and a handful of billionaire families can spend unlimited sums of money to elect or defeat candidates. We must expand our efforts to overturn the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision and move this country to public funding of elections.
SOCIAL JUSTICE: While we have made progress in recent years in expanding the rights of minorities, women and gays, these advances are under constant attack from the right wing. If the United States is to become the non-discriminatory society we want it to be, we must fight to protect the rights of all Americans.
CIVIL LIBERTIES: Frankly, the National Security Agency (NSA) and some of the other intelligence agencies are out of control. We cannot talk about America as a “free country” when the government is collecting information on virtually every phone call we make, when they are intercepting our emails and monitoring the websites we visit. Clearly, we need to protect this country from terrorism, but we must do it in a way that does not undermine our constitutional rights.
WAR AND PEACE: With a large deficit and an enormous amount of unmet needs, it is absurd that the United States continues to spend almost as much on defense as the rest of the world combined. The U.S. must be a leader in the world in nuclear disarmament and efforts toward peace, not in the sale of weapons of destruction.
Let me conclude by once again wishing you a happy and healthy new year — and by asking you to share this email with friends, family and co-workers.  They can sign-up for our occasional emails by clicking here.
This is a tough and historical moment in American history.  Despair is not an option.  Let us stand together as brothers and sisters and fight for the America our people deserve.  Thank you for your continued support.                                                   Sincerely,
Bernie                         Senator Bernie Sanders

•Stephen Colbert dances his way to the end of his career, by Jen Hayden

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Have a great weekend! Sarah Burris, Daily Kos