Oooh That Smell: “STINK!” Movie Reveals How American Companies Add Toxic Chemicals to Common Products

By B.N. Frank

Have you ever been walking outside and suddenly been accosted by the overwhelming fragrance of somebody doing laundry?  You don’t know if it’s detergent, fabric softener, or dryer sheets.  You only know you better start walking faster so you can get away from it before you get a headache or start sneezing or cursing in a very loud voice about the God-awful scent.  If so, you may be interested in watching the STINK! Movie:

STINK! opens with a foul smell and a pair of kids pajamas. And a single father trying to find out what that smell could possibly be. But instead of getting a straight answer, director Jon Whelan stumbles on an even bigger issue in America, which is that some products on our store shelves are not safe — by design.

Stink! Movie Extras includes a statement from the director:

Stink! Director, Jon Whelan, talking about the “Fragrance Loophole”

Director’s Statement

I used to be ignorant about the Cancer Loophole. I thought that if a product was on the shelf in a store, that meant it was safe. I naively believed that if a product contained dangerous, toxic ingredients, ingredients that could cause cancer, that product would be banned.

In making “Stink!” over the past three years, I have learned that companies don’t need to disclose whether products contain chemicals that cause cancer or disrupt hormones, contained endocrine disruptors, even chemicals that could interfere with a child’s growth, or cause reproductive problems. Certainly, we can all agree that American consumers should have the right to choose whether they want to be exposed to chemicals that cause cancer, or birth defects, or reproductive harm? Apparently not.

By keeping the ingredients secret, companies are taking away our ability to make informed choices. In other words, we don’t even have the right to choose whether we want to be exposed to a carcinogen. Companies using unsafe ingredients get to choose for us. And that’s why I made a documentary called “Stink!” – because no one should be ignorant about the Cancer Loophole. Americans need to know that our system to regulate chemicals stinks!

Amen to that!

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