I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Dioxin-free Packaging
Earlier this year, ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s began using new packaging made from unbleached, chlorine-free paper produced without generating dioxin. Ben & Jerry’s materials state that the only safe level of exposure to dioxin, which has been associated with cancer risk in some studies, “is no exposure at all.” Now the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Citizens for the Integrity of Science — two conservative groups with a history of hostility toward enviros — have lodged a complaint against Ben & Jerry’s with the Federal Trade Commission, accusing the company of misleading consumers by touting its dioxin-free packaging without stating that there is dioxin (on the order of 0.7 parts per trillion) in the ice cream itself. CEI and CIS believe the ice cream is perfectly safe, but say Ben & Jerry’s is overhyping the risk of dioxin. Ben & Jerry’s responded that nearly all foods groups are vulnerable to exposure to dioxin, which is pervasive in the environment, and that its new packaging is an effort to address the problem as well as the company can.