Business

Goodguide helps knowledge of products

Monday, September 22, 2008
Goodguide

A website helps consumers learn a lot more about the products the buy. (ABC7)

The internet is filled with tons information for consumers who want to know what's in the products they buy -- if you have hours to surf from site to site. But, what if there was one site that did all the research for you? Now, in a non-descript San Francisco office building -- there is.

Dara O'Rourke created a website to not only help consumers find out what's in the products they buy. Not only that, but how green the manufacturing process is -- and how well the workers are treated. It's called Goodguide.com.

"What we're trying to do is basically pull together the most comprehensive incredible science in the world and filter it through your preferences - so you tell me what you care about and we can help you find products that match your values," said O'Rourke.

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O'Rourke is a professor of environmental and labor policy at U.C. Berkeley. He says the idea for Goodguide sprouted while he was slathering sunscreen on his daughter and realized he didn't know what was in it. His staff of ten now scours websites, consults with industry, and checks in with testing labs to find out if a product contains something you should be aware of. The site then steers you to products you might like better.

O'Rourke says their ratings are not influenced by the manufacturers -- although they sometimes call to say their formula has changed. His workers spend a lot of time on European union websites - which has stricter laws about listing ingredients on product labels.

"The American public deserves this information. They should be getting full ingredients list, full hazard information, full environmental information," said O'Rourke.

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