This excerpt taken from the CL 10-K filed Feb 27, 2009.
The manufacture, packaging, labeling, storage, distribution, advertising and sale of consumer products are subject to extensive regulation in the U.S. and abroad. This regulation includes, but is not limited to, the following:
A finding that we are in violation of, or out of compliance with, applicable laws or regulations could subject us to civil remedies, including fines, damages, injunctions or product recalls, or criminal sanctions, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business. Even if a claim is unsuccessful, is not merited or is not fully pursued, the negative publicity surrounding such assertions regarding our products or processes could adversely affect our reputation and brand image. For information regarding our European competition matters, see Item 3, Legal Proceedings and Note 13 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
We have obtained all necessary regulatory approvals to manufacture and sell our currently marketed products. New or more restrictive regulations or more restrictive interpretations of existing regulations, however, could have an adverse impact on our business. For example, from time to time, various regulatory authorities and consumer groups in Europe, the U.S. and other countries conduct reviews of the use of triclosan in certain consumer products. In 2005, the FDA established an advisory panel to examine the use of certain anti-microbials, including triclosan, in anti-microbial hand soaps, wipes and hand sanitizers. Also, the European Commission (EC) is examining the use of triclosan in consumer products. A finding by the FDA, the EC or another overseas regulatory authority that triclosan should not be used in certain consumer products or should otherwise be regulated could have an adverse impact on our business, as could negative reactions to triclosan from consumers, our trade customers or non-governmental organizations. Currently, Colgate uses triclosan in certain of its oral, personal and home care products, including Colgate Total toothpaste, Softsoap brand liquid hand soap and Protex bar soap.
Our business is subject to the risks inherent in global manufacturing and sourcing activities.