First They Came For Your Lightbulbs. Now The Government Wants Your Soap, According to the Right


Some products containing Triclosan

We have been going on about the bacteriocide Triclosan since 2006, when John first wrote There's A Frog Disruptor In My Soap. Since then we have repeatedly asked Why Is There Still an Endocrine Disruptor In My Toothpaste?, noted that the Canadian Medical Association Calls for Ban on Triclosan, that it doesn't actually work, that Antibacterial Cleaners Do More Harm Than Good, and that at last, FDA Finally Looking At Endocrine Disruptor Triclosan.

But guess what? Triclosan is right up there now with compact fluorescent bulbs and low flush toilets as a cause celebré for the crazy right wing, and the campaign to get rid of it is part of the Environmentalists' War on Women.
Andrew Sullivan points to an article by Keira Butler in Mother Jones, where she lists a few of the statements, most of which get the facts completely wrong, like in the Weekly standard:

Our friends in the government have decided to improve our lives again by trying to get rid of anti-bacterial products. You know them--the gels, wipes, and soaps that we use to disinfect shopping cart handles, gym equipment, children's toys, phones, hands--you name it. Anti-bacterials contain Triclosan and Very Concerned Citizens think that Triclosan is a Very Bad Thing. So they want it banned.

First of all, that isn't even true; most of those gels, wipes and soaps disinfect with alcohol, not Triclosan. Nobody is trying to ban that.

Then Butler points to the most ludicrous article I have read this year, about how this is all an assault on women:

Maybe environmentalists thought women would be too busy to notice the growing regulatory assault on them. They were wrong. Nothing gets women's attention more quickly than dirty dishes, clogged toilets, grimy clothes, toxic materials, and budget-busting energy prices. It's time the fairer sex took environmental Neanderthals head-on.

And indeed, there is an entire organization devoted to the subject, that says in their press release:

"First President Obama tried to force everyone into a government run healthcare program, and now he is trying to tell us what kinds of soap we have to use," says Stacy Mott, President and Founder of Smart Girl Politics. "Environmental organizations shouldn't be allowed to dictate to the government or anyone else about what types of soap we can purchase. If we willingly allow the government to control what we can or cannot put in our soap dish, what is next?"

I wonder if she has any idea what used to go into soap before the government started regulating health and safety.

More on Triclosan:
Antibacterial Cleaners Do More Harm Than Good
"Frog Disruptor In My Soap", Revisited
Germ Fighters Lead to Hardier Germs

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