The Multinational Monitor

April 15, 1986 - VOLUME 7 - NUMBER 7


What's In A Name?...

Colgate-Palmolive has come under fire from the National Council of Churches for marketing toothpaste in Asia under the brand name "Darkie."

The toothpaste, available in Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia, is sold in a package bearing a picture of a beaming Al Jolson.

The New York Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) has repeatedly but unsuccessfully petitioned Colgate-Palmolive to change the brand name, "so that a United States company will not be associated with promoting racial stereotyping in the Third World."

But Colgate, which recently acquired a 50 percent interest in the Hawley and Hazel Chemical Company that markets "Darkie Black and White Toothpaste," says that "the product isn't racially offensive where it's sold."

In addition, Colgate's Director of Corporate Development R.G.S. Anderson has told ICCR that because local marketing of "Darkie" toothpaste- is under Chinese management, the Churches' concern for the racial implications of the product "borders on being racial-and specifically, anti-Chinese."

"Our position on `Darkie (Black and´┐Ż White) toothpaste would be different if the product were sold in the U.S. or any Western, English-speaking county which will not happen," Colgate chairman Keith Crane recently wrote ICCR

Dirty Dozen Clean-Up Underway

One month after environmentalists in Ecuador kicked off a campaign to restrict the use of hazardous pesticides in their country, Ecuador's Minister of Agriculture signed a decree prohibiting and cancelling import licenses and registration of 23 pesticides, including all but two targeted by the Pesticide Action Network's (PAN) "Dirty Dozen" campaign (See Pesticides Don't Know When To Stop Killing, Multinational Monitor, September, 1985).

In Brazil, the Federal Minister of Agriculture has announced a law prohibiting the advertising, distribution, and use of all organochlorine pesticides, including all those on the 'Dirty Dozen" list. The law also limits advertisement, distribution, and use of paraquat. The decree was issued three months after local activists throughout Brazil launched an educational campaign to reform the country's pesticide laws.

Participants in PANS international "Dirty Dozen" Pesticides Campaign are reporting these and other successes in their grassroots campaign to tighten controls trols on pesticide- use. '

The campaign, begun last fall, seeks to end ' the worldwide use of twelve "extremely hazardous' pesticides. It has been endorsed by consumer and environmental groups and international labor unions, including the International Federation of Plantation, Agricultural and Allied Workers (IFPAW), whose members in Portugal have refused to handle "Dirty Dozen" pesticides.

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