Why Does Stephen Colbert Hate Earthjustice?

Turns out he wants to keep cleaning product chemical info a 'surprise'

This page was published 13 years ago. Find the latest on Earthjustice’s work.

When Stephen Colbert’s ultra conservative Comedy Central character declares you as being part of the nanny state, you know you’re doing something right.

Last night, the mock talk show host aired a segment on Earthjustice’s campaign to enforce a 40-year-old New York state law and associated regulations requiring manufacturers of household cleaners to reveal the chemical ingredients in their products and any health risks they pose.

"Way to spoil the surprise!" Colbert shouted, likening the effort to other pesky consumer protections he despises: baby seats and motorcycle helmets.

He then vowed to derail the initiative, declaring, "Nation, we’re not going to take this sitting down. We’re going to take it standing—on top of a step ladder, throwing a lawn dart at a drum of DDT." (Read more to watch the video.)

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Well, whether Colbert likes it or not, things are looking good for consumers seeking assurance that they’re not coating the inside of their homes with toxic chemicals every time they clean.

Yesterday, Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg sat down with New York state agency officials, industry representatives, and our partners at Clean New York, Consumers Union, Environmental Advocates of New York, Learning Disabilities Association of New York State, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, Silent Spring Institute, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, and Women’s Voices for the Earth to discuss how and when companies will be required to reveal their chemical ingredients.

We’re backing a swift enforcement timetable and a ‘one-stop shopping’ information hub for consumers looking for chemical ingredients.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Pete Grannis, head of New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation, had this to say.

Our goal is to have everybody abide by the same kind of standards, however we proceed with them … We want consumers to be able to look at a (web)site or sites, without having to interpret things.

Consumers: 1. Colbert Nation: 0.

Want to weigh in and let Commissioner Grannis know you think he’s on the right path? Click here.

From 2007–2018, Kathleen partnered with clean energy coalitions and grassroots organizations, empowered communities to fight against fracking, and worked with the Policy & Legislation team to have their messages heard by legislators.