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Home » Ethics

Ecover and Algal Oil

Submitted by on June 27, 2014 – 12:45 pmNo Comment

Ecover imageThere are various statements and rumours spreading around the internet relating to one experimental batch of one product that Ecover made in an attempt to reduce their reliance on, for example, petroleum and palm oil. Ecover have issued a statement to provide scientific answers to the issues being raised. You can download the statement at the end of this article.

From Steve Mitchell, Ecover’s UK Sales Manager
“As a green pioneer, we are on a mission to create products that are healthier and more sustainable for our planet, by taking inspiration from nature… As part of this mission, we are looking into the potential use of algal oil, as an alternative to petroleum and palm oil based ingredients.

Ecover is currently being criticised for using ‘synthetic biology’ and ‘extreme genetic engineering’ to produce this algal oil. These terms are a very misleading way to describe what could potentially be a useful ingredient… The technology we are trialling…embraces the natural functions of organisms, which cannot be classified as extreme engineering. Further, this has a proven and significant environmental benefit for our planet.

Because of some concerns that were raised…we decided to put any further steps to use algal oil on hold, until we have addressed all these concerns in detail. In order to do this, we are setting up an open debate with a wide spectrum of NGOs and scientists. We expect this process will take around six months. Only after that rigorous debate, we will provide a clear statement around what our future plans are regarding the usage of specific types of biotechnology.

Currently we are in the early stages of a trial of algal oil. It has been tested in a single product, in one batch of 6000 bottles, which mentions algal oil in the ingredient list.”

You can download Ecover’s response by clicking here
The document is in pdf format. If you would like it in a different format please email

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