Sunday, June 10, 2012

ALEC - Another Consumer Activist Opportunity

Most of us have never heard of Reckitt Benckiser, but this may be a time to re-introduce ourselves to this Profit Sector Member of the American Legislative Exchange council (ALEC).

We were first introduced to ALEC Profit Sector Member, Reckitt Benckiser in this story published by CMD:
An American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) member is defying Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules limiting the sale of rat poisons that pose dangers to children and the ecosystem. ALEC representatives say that kids eating rat poison is an "acceptable risk" that does not justify government intervention in the market.

Most of the rodenticide industry complied voluntarily with the new rules, which were scheduled to go into effect in June, 2011, but three companies held out. One of them, d-Con manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser, makes 12 of the 20 products targeted by the EPA. The global corporation sued in 2010 to force the agency to follow procedures for a formal "cancellation" of the products, and recently announced plans to "vigorously oppose" implementation of the measures throughout the cancellation process. Reckitt Benckiser is an ALEC member and has a representative on the ALEC Public Safety and Elections Task Force.

ALEC itself and other allies have jumped to the defense of the global corporation.
Evidently they've done something good for ALEC - cause "ALEC itself and other allies"  helped do something good for them

But the puzzler is  - is that Reckitt Benckiser served on the ALEC Task Force for
To develop model policies that reduce crime and violence in our cities and neighborhoods, while also developing policies to ensure integrity and efficiency in our elections and systems of government.
(Which because of bad publicity, ALEC disbanded BUT - moved all the model legislation that the PSE task was working on into other task forces - slight of hand by ALEC.)

And they got rat poison protection from the other ALEC members.
Musta been something really good they were working on for ALEC.

To support all the ALEC connection, you have the documents that Common Cause used to support their request to the IRS to investigate ALEC's 501c3 status.
Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals serves on the
Reminder this is the Voter ID – Kill at Will Task Force.
One of the nastiest Task Forces that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has ever had.

I can’t tell you how long Reckitt Benckiser has been affiliated with ALEC, but  .. 
The Reckitt ALEC private Sector Member on the Safety and Elections Task Force is
Gregory Hoke
Whose previous work experience from his LinkedIn page includes only this:
State Government Affairs (most at the level of director)
Public Company; 10,001+ employees; PFE; Pharmaceuticals industry
1981 – 2007 (26 years)
So there is a possibility that he is familiar with ALEC Task Force Meetings and missed the fine wine, cigars and fancy resort locations.
Wyeth (which was bought out by Pfizer in 2009) was a longstanding member of ALEC
Wyeth can be documented as a Director Level Sponsor of the 1997 ALEC Annual Meeting
Bernard Poussot, COO of WYETH, was at the 2007 ALEC Annual Meeting
As reported by CMD, in 2008 both Wyeth and Pfizer donated $2,500 each to the Wisconsin ALEC scholarship fund.

Reckitt Benckiser is a UK company – that appears to do some things correctly.
·        The company are Save the Children's "most valuable UK-based corporate supporter".
·        The initiative, which was announced in November 2007, aims to cut the total
         carbon footprint of its products – from creation to disposal – by 20% by 2020
·        In June 2006, Reckitt Benckiser launched Trees for Change, a major forestation
         project designed to offset the greenhouse gasses created as a by-product
         of its manufacturing processes
·        In 2008, in the U.S., RB was one of 40 companies awarded Champion Status
         in the Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative (SDSI).
        The SDSI "recognizes environmental leaders who voluntarily commit
        to the use of safer surfactants".
Well – that explains why they are NOT on the ALEC Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force.

Another reason that we should pay attention to Reckitt Benckiser is this – they have a tendency to do more of the correct thing:
Joining the UK effort to stop Glenn Beck, we recently began targeting companies advertising on Glenn Beck’s program in the United Kingdom.

This morning, Reckitt Benckiser (maker of Lysol, Airwick, Vanish, Calgon, etc..) confirmed that they’ve already pulled their ads in the United States and will pull ads in the UK, writing:

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. In the US we stopped ads, I will advise the UK team to do the same. In general RB does not endorse any specific show on any network nor the personal views or opinions that may be voiced on such shows.

Many thanks to all those who helped encourage Reckitt Benckiser to pull their ads from the Glenn Beck program.  Way to go!

Based on this – there is modicum of hope that Reckitt Benckiserwould do the appropriate thing in regards to ALEC - if approached.

So who is Reckitt Benckiser and what can we do?
Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals is just one division of the Reckitt Benckiser family of products.
As Reckitt Benckiser notes on their webpage:
Reckitt Benckiser is a global force in household, health and personal care, delivering solutions to consumers.

From Wiki, some of the products that Reckitt Benckiser sells in the US are:
Air Wick
Finish (previously Electrasol in North America)
French's Foods
Glass Plus
Mop ‘n Glow
Neutra Air
Old English
Spray ‘n Wash
And from the CMD story:  d-Con
Probably should quit buying those products - along with products from Johnson & Johnson.

You can tweet them here:
to #DumpALEC

And here’s their Facebook page
to #DumpALEC

And you can send them a polite message – to  their Corporate Responsibility Department on this webpage
to #DumpALEC

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