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Dutch Consumer’s Group Attacks Unilever’s Omo Power, Again

September 14, 1994

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ Unilever’s Omo Power detergent on Wednesday came under attack again, criticized by a Dutch consumer group for causing excessive wear and tear.

The detergent has been the battle ground in a soap war between Anglo-Dutch consumer products maker Unilever and its American rival Procter & Gamble since tests earlier this year showed the powder damaged cotton threads under certain conditions.

Wednesday’s announcement was the latest episode in the months-old controversy surrounding Omo Power.

The Dutch Consumers Union said the new reformulated Omo Power cleans clothes just as well as another good laundry detergent with bleach, but the group was dissatisfied with the wear and tear caused by the powder.

The consumer union also criticized the detergent’s price and advised consumers to buy ″a good, but cheaper detergent″ instead.

But Unilever repeated that tests did not find the new Omo Power to cause extra wear and tear on clothes.

″The positive consumer reactions and the independent test reports emphasize the product’s benefits for the white wash and for removing tough stains from colored articles,″ Unilever said in a press release.

The original detergent was first criticized by the consumer union in June for damaging cotton threads. Proctor and Gamble started the debate earlier this year claiming that Omo Power damaged fabrics after repeated washings.

But Unilever claims Omo Power is a revolutionary washing detergent that cleans better at lower wash temperatures by utilizing a manganese-complex bleaching accelerator.

Following criticisms of the powder, Unilever reformulated Omo Power by reducing the amount of the bleaching accelerator in an attempt to remove doubt about its safety.

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