Editor's note: Cleaning product company Method recently wrote in a GreenBiz column that Environmental Working Group's ratings of its products were "highly misleading." Here, EWG responds.
A number of cleaning product manufacturers are expressing surprise at their products' scores on Environmental Working Group's Guide to Healthy Cleaning.
Frankly, we're surprised they're surprised. The fact is, the industry has gotten complacent about its obligations to inform the public about what's in its products, partly because the law gives it considerable latitude when it comes to disclosing specific ingredients.
EWG thinks makers of cleaning products can do better. Our supporters tell us they care -- a lot -- about what's in the products they buy. They want and deserve full disclosure of ingredients and potential contaminants in cleaning products -- printed clearly on the label, so they know right away whether the product is something they want to put on their shelves and under their sinks.
Demand for greener products rising
We have every reason to believe that consumers will vote with their pocketbooks for safer products. And as manufacturers meet this growing demand for safer, more transparent products, the marketplace will be transformed in a way that is responsive to public health and the environment.
Since we began compiling information for our Guide to Healthy Cleaning, we've already seen some important market changes. Take Method, a popular maker of "green" cleaners. Method's executives were not happy with the initial scores we gave to 51 of their products: no As, 6 Bs, 5 Cs, 21 Ds and 19 Fs. They asked us to explain why their grades were so low.
How we analyzed Method products
There were several reasons.
Next page: Factual errors and disclosure issues