On Saturday, November 18th in Los Angeles's Pershing Square, nearly 100 people came together to celebrate the passing of SB 258-California's Cleaning Product Right to Know Act.
On October 15, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 258 into law, making California the first state to require ingredient labeling both on product labels and on manufacturers' websites by 2020. We all have a right to know what's in the products we use around our homes and families each day-and California is paving the way for consumers' right to know nationwide. This victory wouldn't have been possible without the emails, calls, texts and tweets from our collective community fighting for change and asking the industry to #ComeClean about what's in their products.
To celebrate, Seventh Generation joined members of IDEPSCA, The Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Ricardo Lara's office and more to host a community-wide celebration featuring food, music, and family-friendly entertainment. It was a thrill to come together and mark the passing of the bill, which means all of us will be able to make healthier, better-informed choices about the products we bring into our homes.
In front of a "living wall" made of vibrant green plants and the victorious #ComeClean hashtag, Maegan Ortiz from IDEPSCA took to the podium to underscore the importance of SB 258 for domestic workers who value a healthy, clean home.
"This law is not just about labels; it's about dignity," Ortiz said. "Dignity is more than just good wages or a good employer. It's about having a healthy environment-and part of that is knowing what ingredients are in the products you use."
"What made this coalition so uniquely powerful is that it wasn't just the industry at the table, or environmental-health advocates-it was people using cleaning products every day who shared stories about the impact having more access to information would have on their daily lives," said Seventh Generation's Ashley Orgain, Director of Mission Advocacy and Outreach.
SB 258 will also impact everyday shoppers, homes and families. Once the law goes into effect, shoppers will be able to make side-by-side comparisons of cleaning products in-store and online. Product labels will show a list of ingredients right on the package to help shoppers make informed choices about the products they're buying. "As a mother, when I go to the store to buy a product for my home, I'll be able to turn that product around and read information about what's in it. This is monumental for consumers, for workers, for families everywhere," said Ashley.
Nancy Buermeyer, Policy Director of the Beast Cancer Prevention Partners says, "The result is going to be transparency not just in California, but across the country, because once you have ingredients online, everyone across the country can access it. We have set the standard for the nation, and consumers across the country will benefit."
SB 258 was authored by Senator Ricardo Lara (D) and co-sponsored by advocates including Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Environmental Working Group, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Women's Voices for the Earth. It is the first federal law requiring cleaning companies to disclose the ingredients in their formulas. The Cleaning Product Right to Know Act will require online ingredient listing by January 1, 2020, and on-package disclosure by January 1, 2021.
At Seventh Generation, we're passionate about ingredient disclosure because we think you have a right to know exactly what you're bringing into your homes. We were the first household-products company to print our ingredients on the label 10 years ago, and SB 258 is the culmination of two years spent advocating for a law to require all manufacturers to #ComeClean about what's in their formulas, too. Join us in our continued fight for the industry to #ComeClean.