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Company: CVS
Subject: Toxic Chemicals Policy
Year: 2006
Sector: Retail Multi-Line
Lead Filer: Boston Common Asset Management
Cofiler(s): Citizens Advisers, Inc.
Outcome: Vote: 9.9%

Resolved: Shareholders request that, by April 2007, at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, the Board publish a report evaluating the feasibility of a) CVS reformulating all its private label cosmetics products to be free of chemicals linked to cancer, mutation or birth defects, thereby globally meeting the standards set by the EU Cosmetics Directive 2003/15/EC which amended EU Directive 76/768/EEC b) complying with the additional actions sought by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics as described above,” and c) encouraging or requiring manufacturers or distributors of other cosmetics products sold in CVS to ensure that their products comply with the same reformulation and other actions that the company is taking.

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Full Text:

Whereas:
• CVS’s vision is to “help people live longer, healthier, happier lives”.
• Consistent with that vision CVS has phased out sale of mercury thermometers, demonstrating its commitment to safer products for its customers and the environment.
• In February 2003, European Union Directive 2003/15/EC (amending Cosmetics Directive 76/768/EEC) banned the sale in Europe of cosmetics or personal care products that contain any ingredients on a list of chemicals known or suspected of causing cancer, genetic mutations, or birth defects.
• Two of CVS’s major cosmetics suppliers, L’Oreal and Revlon, have committed to reformulating their products globally to meet European Union standards.
• The US Food and Drug Administration does not require US cosmetics manufacturers to test their products for safety. Except for color additives and certain prohibited ingredients, US producers can utilize any raw ingredient without FDA approval.
• California’s new Safe Cosmetics Act will require the manufacturer of cosmetics products sold in California, with certain exceptions, to provide the state with a list of products sold in the state containing any ingredient identified as causing cancer or reproductive toxicity.
• Consumers’ concern about safe cosmetics is growing. Over two hundred cosmetics companies have informed the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of health, consumer, and advocacy groups, that they will take additional actions on safe cosmetics – 1) inventorying their product ingredients for suspected carcinogens, mutagens, and reproductive toxins, and for chemicals that affect the endocrine system, accumulate in the body or persist in the environment. 2) proactively seeking safe alternatives for these chemicals, and 3) publicly reporting on their progress.

Supporting Statement:
In addition to cosmetics, CVS sells many other products that may contain chemicals linked to cancer, mutation, or birth defects. According to a recent report, (http://rosefdn.org/liroffreport.pdf), safer alternatives policies have been adopted by leading retailers, including the drug and cosmetics retailer in the United Kingdom, Boots LLC. "Boots' cosmetics are sold in the United States by CVS competitor Target." Companies have adopted such practices to build public trust, protect brand reputation, and anticipate prospective regulation. Such actions by CVS would underscore our company’s leadership role in providing safe, wholesome products. Without a cosmetics reformulation policy, the proponents believe CVS risks losing customers who are concerned about cosmetic safety.


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