Beware the Nanny State, It's Coming For Your Soap

Americans are living longer than ever due in large part to advancements in science, but you wouldn’t know it from listening to the wailing and gnashing of teeth by environmental extremists. It seems that every day brings news of some substance that will maim, injure or bring about Armageddon. The latest target of these extremists is the antibacterial agent Triclosan, a substance used safely and effectively for decades by millions of Americans.

Triclosan is found in soap, toothpaste, trash bags, toys, and hundreds of other products used daily by consumers. Although there is little-to-no data to back them up, an alliance of junk science organizations is petitioning the EPA to ban the use of Triclosan. Of course, when has the absence of facts ever stopped the left?

[On a side note, a quick trip around the web shows that the groups involved in this petition are serial petitioners and instigators of baseless lawsuits. And they are rewarded quite handsomely for their efforts, oftentimes by the very same corporations they claim to abhor.]

Here’s what we do know about Triclosan:

It is important that this issue be framed correctly. This is not a debate about the effectiveness of antibacterial products, but it is a debate about choice.

In short, who should be deciding which products your family can use — you or the EPA and their well-paid, litigation-hungry cronies? While you might not choose to be a consumer of antibacterial products, many of your neighbors do and that is their right. It starts with things like banning light bulbs and antibacterial washes, but where does it end?

We have seen before what havoc overzealous junk scientists can wreak. For example, we were told for years that the artificial sweetener saccharin caused cancer. Turns out, the FDA drew this conclusion based on faulty data. In December 2010, the FDA finally removed saccharin from its lists of carcinogens and proclaimed it safe for humans. This is little comfort to the artificial sweetener industry, which has suffered at the hands of junk science, liberal activists and a Federal government all too willing to play the role of nanny.

Then there’s the case of DDT. Blogger Rob Port makes this significant connection:

… it’s all a bit reminiscent of Rachel Carson’s infamous campaign against the use of DDT. Carson insisted that DDT, then used widely as a deterrent to mosquitoes and other pests, caused cancer. But the link she made was superficial, and has never been proved. Despite that, government acted and as of 2004 DDT is banned for most uses world wide. Now Malaria death rates, which had been trending down as DDT was used to suppress the spread of the disease through insect bites, have spiked.

It is important to note that the vast majority (74%) of Americans use antibacterial products, including soap, and 83% of those want the option of purchasing those kinds of products. As this recent study by Fabrizio, Ward & Associates proves, we like our soaps and want to keep them. And we certainly do not want the Nanny State in our bathrooms dictating which products we can use.

In the next few weeks, the EPA will decide the fate of Triclosan. Well-funded liberal activists have been flooding the EPA with demands to send Triclosan the way of saccharin and DDT, but sensible-minded citizens are pushing back against this power grab. We want our lightbulbs, we want our soaps and we want to decide what is best for our families. Please go to and sign the petition telling the EPA to keep their hands off our soap.