Besieged Body Shop comes out fighting

THE BODY SHOP issued a 32-page dossier attacking an American journalist yesterday, in an attempt to pre-empt criticism of its ethical practices in an article due out this week.

The embattled green cosmetics group circulated the file in response to news stories ahead of the most damaging piece, to be published in the Minneapolis-based Business Ethics magazine on Thursday.

Although The Body Shop is understood not to have seen the article, it gave a detailed defence of allegations that have surfaced during earlier investigations by its author, Jon Entine, who is a former producer with ABC, the US television network.

Mr Entine was accused by the company of using questionable methods, and making 'misleading statements which are seriously defamatory of The Body Shop'. It added that he 'has been engaged in a single- minded campaign of vilification against The Body Shop'.

Mr Entine is alleged to have described Anita Roddick, the company's founder, as a 'schizophrenic and a sociopath'.

He is said to have denounced the company in approaches to investors, franchisees and potential supporters. Yesterday's statement also accused him of pestering Anita Roddick at home, a claim Mr Entine denies.

Among allegations to surface in the past 10 days are claims that the company's 'Trade not Aid' policy of buying goods from indigenous peoples was not as vigorously pursued as The Body Shop had claimed, that Ms Roddick 'stole' the company's concept from a tiny American outfit, and that it had been responsible for pollution in New Jersey.

The company's share prices fell following the news that the US ethical investment fund Franklin Research and Development had sold 50,000 Body Shop shares and recommended its clients do likewise because of concerns over its green and ethical stances.

Yesterday, it was reported that the RSPCA had decided to remove the Body Shop name from a pamphlet of cruelty-free suppliers. There were concerns that its policy of not using ingredients tested on animals covered only the most recently developed products. John Grounds, Body Shop head of public affairs, refused to comment on the RSPCA story.

Meanwhile, Gordon Roddick, chairman and husband of Anita, said: 'The Body Shop can no longer sit, wait and allow pre-publicity hype to damage its reputation.' Mr Roddick said of Mr Entine: 'We have been the object of his obsessive campaign for over a year.'

Last night, Mr Entine, speaking from his home in California, said he stood by his investigations which were backed up by documents and tape recordings. He accused The Body Shop of carrying out personal attacks on him in order to deflect criticism. He said: 'When our story comes out the facts will speak for themselves.'

The Body Shop dossier, entitled Memorandum of Response to the Allegations of Jon Entine, includes a point-by- point rebuttal of the main allegations, and extensive details of projects that it has financed.

It says the company became aware of the allegations through research Entine did in preparation for a report for ABC's Prime Time Live programme, and an article for the US magazine Vanity Fair. Neither piece of work was used.

Among the counter-claims listed by the Body Shop are:

Trade not Aid - The company says figures relating to the percentage of goods it gets from developing countries are inaccurate. 'More importantly, his percentages are beside the point,' it adds, and goes on to detail projects in which it has invested heavily.

Plagiarism - It says it has previously disproved suggestions that Ms Roddick in effect stole the name from a company in California. The owners, Peggy Short and Jane Saunders, have testified that they never made such allegations.

Natural products - It says it cannot guarantee 100 per cent of its ingredients are 'natural', but that it makes no attempt to conceal that some are synthetic.

Animal testing - It rejects claims that it has used lack of animal testing as a marketing ploy and that it has resisted attempts to seek a complete ban on animal testing for cosmetics and pressured the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection to alter its campaigns to suit its marketing interests. It says its reputation on testing was vindicated when it won damages from Channel 4 and an independent production company in a libel action.

Environmental practices - It says discharges from its New Jersey plant were limited to two 'minor' spillages of shampoo, both during 1992. The company reported both.

Marjorie Kelly, publisher of Business Ethics, said publication would go ahead despite threats of libel action. As well as the first article on ethics, a second would focus on Anita Roddick's personality.

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices