Skip to main content

Rejoinder: Story on presence of carcinogenic chemical in detergents 'factually incorrect'

By Satish Sinha*
This is to draw your attention on the news story, “Nirma told to publicly declare it's 'not using' carcinogenic chemical in detergents”, by Rajiv Shah. We would like to assert that the report is factually incorrect and misrepresents facts. The author has incorrectly attributed quotes that were never mentioned and some have been incorrectly contextualized. We completely disagree with the text and find the reporting misleading.
Produced below are many quotes as mentioned in the report that were either not made by Toxics Link or has been incorrectly contextualized.
1. Sinha warned: "So far, we have not made public results of the tests we have carried out of the detergents produced by Nirma and others. Nirma has the option to put up a message on the detergents it sells in the market stating they do not contain nonylphenol. However, if they don't do it, we will be left with no other option to make public chemical analysis of the detergents. It would make big headlines, which would be embarrassing for Nirma."
Comments: The reporter has incorrectly quoted Mr Sinha here. It was only stated that if we do carry out another testing we shall quote the names of brands.
2. They have been making strange claims. But we have checked. The Patanjali detergents also contain the harmful chemical.
Answering a question on whether Toxics Link has analysed Patanjali detergents, which Baba Ramdev claims do not contain and harmful chemicals, Sinha said, "It's a serious issue. They are powerful people. So, we generally avoid naming them, because they can harm us." However, he hastened to add, "They have been making strange claims. But we have checked. The Patanjali detergents also contain the harmful chemical..."

Comments: We have never said that they are making strange claim. Also the entire quote is misleading and half-truth.
3. Sinha said, "We as NGO are very small. We do not have enough funds for creating such a data base. Even for small tests we have to approach institutes like Indian Institute of Technology." Answering a question, he suggested, industrial houses like Nirma, if they are really serious about not using harmful chemicals, could fund for the creation of such data house. The Nirma representative, however, said, it was difficult to say whether the industrial house could provide money.
Comments: The above text is false and imagination of the author. This is for purpose of causing sensation.
4. What is most worrisome, however, is neither the industry nor the government knows even the ABC of chemicals being used, as a result of which, at international fora, when concerns are raised, we cut a sorry figure.
Comments: This statement is entirely wrong and misunderstood.
We have a strong objection the way the news story has been portrayed with misleading quotes and wrong information. We would like to put on your notice that the other news agencies also have carried out the similar stories, however their statements are not misleading and misquoted.
Therefore we urged you to take necessary actions in this direction.
---
*Associate director, Toxics Link
*** 

Rajiv Shah replies:

First of all, the Toxics Link report released at the roundtable “Dirty Trail Detergent to Water bodies” (click HERE to download), states, “A set of 12 detergent powder (including two duplicate) samples from a local market in New Delhi … were collected.” It adds, “Known and easily available brands were chosen…”
It reports the results as follows: “In the present study, twelve detergents samples (including two duplicate) were collected and analyzed. All of the analyzed samples detected Nonylphenol in the concentration which varied between 0.82 and 11.92 wt%. The highest concentration was observed in detergent 3, while the lowest was in detergent 9.”
A screenshot from "Dirty Trail"
The report does not mention the brands. It is Toxics Link's option whether to make public the names of the brands.
Secondly, my report is based on the proceedings of the roundtable, when none of the reporters from other media were present. The organisers did not say that proceedings were off the record. 
I have nothing more to add.

Comments

Jag Jivan said…
A typical NGO response. Running with hare and hunting with hounds.

TRENDING

Astonishingly sycophantic: Ex-Gujarat topcop on 2002 Godhra riots probe panel report

By Rajiv Shah  In a scathing critique of the 2002 communal riots inquiry commission report, released by the Gujarat government in December 2019 five years after it was submitted, the State’s former topcop RB Sreekumar has said that it “unequivocally” and “meticulously” takes care “to refrain from probing and taking cognizance of any deviant action of omission and commission by the State administration, particularly those operating in the criminal justice system, who facilitated extensive mass violence and enabled brigands to perpetrate anti-minority crimes.”

Two of 12 top caste-based sexual violence cases from 'model' Gujarat: NGO report

By Rajiv Shah   The National Council of Women Leaders (NCWL), a civil rights group, has compiled what it has called “landmark cases of caste-based sexual violence” between 1985 and 2020 to mark the first anniversary of the notorious Hathras gangrape case, which led to the death of a young Dalit woman in September 2020.

Riddled with Brahmanical mindset, India's health care 'serving' corporate interests

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  In this second part of my conversation (click here for first part), Dr Manisha Bangar speaks about the health crisis in India how the government is trying to privatise things, and where our response during the Corona period was lacking. She also gives us an understanding of people opposing nutritious meals for children in the mid-day meal.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Inaccurate gender-relevant data 'spoiling' government policy on Covid social impact

By Simi Mehta*  The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been different across vulnerable groups. They were hit by the pandemic at various stages, whether it was accessibility to medical treatment or financial support. The second wave witnessed human suffering at a level where one can never forget the traumatized faces of people due to the inaccessibility and unavailability of essential medical services such as hospitals beds and oxygen. The probability of the third wave has also been one of the major upcoming challenges.

Anti-Dalit atrocities increase 9.4% despite pandemic, Uttar Pradesh tops the list: Report

By Rahul Singh* Data on crime against Dalits and Adivasis in the Crime In India Report, 2020 draws a distinct pattern of similarity between rural and urban spaces. Published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), they capture some anomalies and interesting trends. The report also shows that a large proportion of crimes against Dalits and Adivasis involves crime against women.

Vindictive raids? Centre 'retaliates' after Delhi govt child rights body's clean chit to ex-babu

By Our Representative  Over 700 academics, advocates, activists, civil servants, writers, film makers, journalists, musicians and artists have condemned the raids by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the offices and private home of top IAS bureaucrat-turned-human rights and peace activist Harsh Mander, stating, the aim is nothing but to “harass and intimidate” him.

Flamboyant 'demagogues' adjust politics, personality in shadow of democracy

Modi, Erdogan, Bolsonaro By Ajit Singh The terms dictators and demagogues are used interchangeably in various contexts, but there is a difference. The former rule over a totalitarian states where governments are able to exercise complete influence over every aspect of citizens’ life, whereas the latter are a "wannabe dictators" but due to the system of checks and balances they are are not fully capable to create police states.

Power supply lines in Thar 'pushing' Great Indian Bustard to extinction: Researchers

By Rosamma Thomas*  Electricity supply lines pose a huge risk to birds and affect biodiversity, but there is little research about the numbers of birds dying of such collision in the tropical nations. In August 2021, academic journal Biological Conservation carried the results of a survey conducted in 2017-18 on 4,200 sq km of the Thar Desert in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan. This was the first comprehensive survey of this nature in the region.