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SEATTLE - Consumer-owned natural foods cooperative PCC Natural Markets is the first retailer in the United States to endorse the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which seeks to protect the health of consumers and workers by requiring the health and beauty industry to phase out the use of chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, and other health problems, and to replace them with safer alternatives.
"Consumers should know that they can buy personal care products that can be trusted to meet the most stringent standards," says PCC's health and beauty aids merchandiser Wendy McLain.
The campaign consists of a coalition of groups including the Breast Cancer Fund, the Environmental Working Group, and the National Environmental Trust. By endorsing the campaign, PCC renews its commitment to work with its manufacturers to ensure that all cosmetics and personal care products sold will be free of chemicals known or strongly suspected of causing cancer, mutation, or birth defects. PCC also encourages other retailers to make the same commitment.
As part of the program, PCC completed a preliminary screening of personal care products that shows that none of the products sold at PCC are in the high-concern "red zone" category, according to the Skin Deep Web site, of the Environmental Working Group. Consumers can go to the site, as PCC has done, type in a product or brand name, and see how products they use are evaluated for safety.
To date, 26 of the personal care brands sold by PCC have signed on to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and PCC has notified all of its personal care manufacturers that if they don't sign on to the campaign -- or comply with the campaign's criteria -- within three years as specified by the campaign, they will be dropped.
PCC Natural Markets is a certified organic retail cooperative with annual sales of $105 million and an active membership of nearly 40,000 households. It operates eight stores in the Seward Park, View Ridge, Greenlake, West Seattle, Fremont, Kirkland, Redmond, and Issaquah neighborhoods.