The latest salvo in a bizarre exchange of international sanctions has been fired. Russia has already taken its boycott of Western foodstuffs to theatrical extremes, bulldozing piles of cheese and destroying apples whose sole fault was their Polish origin. Now the government of Vladimir Putin seems to be turning on household cleansers as it tries to scour away the taint of Western business.
Russian state regulator Rospotrebnadzor had restricted the sale of laundry detergents, soaps, and cleaning products manufactured by American, European, and Ukrainian companies, citing unspecified safety concerns after conducting toxicity tests at various manufacturing facilities.
“Those products that do not meet the requirements are being removed from sale,” the regulator said, “Investigations into the household products and detergents of other manufacturers are continuing.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that affected products included:
“P&G’s Fairy Platinum dishwashing detergent, Werner & Mertz’s Emsal floor cleaner and Clorox’s Formula 409 cleaner. They also include Palmolive Naturals olive and moisturizing milk soap, made by Colgate-Palmolive.”
In addition, Russia curtailed the sale of several products manufactured by the German consumer-goods firm Henkel.
Meanwhile, both manufacturers and retailers have been left wondering how to respond to the announcement, which stopped short of forbidding retailers from selling the products.
Hopefully the issue can be resolved before Russian consumers are left confronting growing stacks of dirty dishes and piles of laundry without access to their preferred soap brands.