Target Demands Suppliers Reveal Endocrine Disruptors in Products


In order to achieve better transparency and to help consumers avoid dangerous chemicals and endocrine disruptors, Target has requested that suppliers in certain categories list ingredients in the products sold at its stores by 2020. The store has also asked that companies remove certain ingredients, such as perfluorinated chemicals, formaldehyde, and phthaletes, from products in these categories by this date.

The key product categories for this overhaul are currently categories consumers encounter closely, such as beauty, baby, personal care, and cleaning goods, but ultimately, Target hopes to disclose all ingredients in all products, according to Bloomberg.

Target plans to invest as much as $5 million in green chemistry by 2022 to develop replacement ingredients where none exist to help achieve these goals.

“Part of knowing what’s in products is understanding where they come from and how they’re made,” says Irene Quarshie, vice president, quality & compliance, Target Sourcing Services. “So we’ll build on our work in the responsible sourcing space to help us verify that supply chain processes are sustainable, as well as ethical and responsible, from beginning to end.”

Target’s decision will likely push hundreds of suppliers to list ingredients on packaging, according to Fortune.

“It’s ambitious, but using our size, scale and expertise, we think we’ll be able to make significant progress,” said Jennifer Silberman, Target’s chief sustainability officer, in a blog post following the announcement.

Target has been encouraging manufacturers to be more transparent in listing ingredients on its products since 2015. The company has also requested that producers remove more than 1,000 “unwanted chemicals” from these products, such as bisphenol A (BPA), one of several known endocrine disruptors present in the packaging of many food and beverage items, triclosan, and coal tars.

A November report released by Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families named Target the second-highest ranking U.S. retailer in terms of chemical-disclosure policies, after Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart announced that it was pushing suppliers to restrict the use of eight hazardous chemicals from some of its products six months before Target’s announcement.

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Emily Monaco is a food and culture writer based in Paris. Her work has been featured in the Wall... More about Emily Monaco