Body Shop 'blocked story on green policy'

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The Independent Online
BODY SHOP prevented publication of an attack on its 'green' credentials by threatening Vanity Fair magazine with an injunction, its author said yesterday.

Jon Entine, an American journalist who has been researching the subject for more than a year, said the injunction was threatened in Britain where the burden of proof to defend a libel action is much stricter.

The article is now due to appear simultaneously in an unnamed mass circulation magazine in the United States and the specialist journal Business Ethics in 10 days time. Neither magazine has a British edition.

The Body Shop's share price has already fallen slightly after Franklin Research and Development, an ethical investment analyst in the United States, sold 50,000 of the company's shares and recommended to its clients they do the same last week, pending further investigations.

It questions the Body Shop's commitment to its 'trade not aid' programme using Third World suppliers, its use of non- renewable petroleum-based ingredients in some of its products, and emissions from its former New Jersey bottling plant.

The Body Shop refuses to reveal the size of its 'trade not aid' programme, saying it is limited by the small size of communities supplying the products. It denies the spillages in New Jersey were damaging to the environment.

The Body Shop paid dollars 3.5m ( pounds 2.3m) for the use of the Body Shop name in the United States in 1986, as a small Californian chain with the same name and many similar products existed.