Note: You can check out this letter from our friends with ETC Group asking Ecover to reconsider their use of synbio and genetic engineering in their “green” products.
-The GJEP Team
By Stephanie Strom, May 30, 2014. Source: NY Times
Consumer products containing ingredients made using an advanced form of engineering known as synthetic biology are beginning to show up more often on grocery and department store shelves.
A liquid laundry detergent made by Ecover, a Belgian company that makes “green” household products including the Method line, contains an oil produced by algae whose genetic code was altered using synthetic biology. The algae’s DNA sequence was changed in a lab, according to Tom Domen, the company’s manager for long-term innovation.
Ecover calls the algae-produced oil a “natural” replacement for palm kernel oil, which is in such high demand that environmentalists are concerned that tropical rain forests are being felled to grow palm trees, disturbing ecosystems and threatening endangered animals.
“Finding a sustainable source of palm oil is, of course, difficult,” Mr. Domen said. “This new oil is a more sustainable alternative from a new technology.”