What the company doesn't advertise — and these days is reluctant to admit — is that the grease-cutting part of the potion is made from petroleum.
"To make the best product out there, you have to have some in there," says Ian Tholking of Procter & Gamble. He says less than one-seventh of Dawn comes from petroleum.
"To say Dawn's horrible because of this, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense," he says, "and that's what we're trying to avoid. Because we're not trying to do something evil here."
"I think it's extremely ironic," says Martin Wolf, a chemist for Seventh Generation, which makes a dish liquid without petroleum. "Here we are trying to squeeze every last drop of oil we can out of the Earth, and it's despoiling the Earth. And we're using that same product that's messing up the Earth to clean it up."
Wolf says his company sent a truckload of oil-free detergent to the gulf, but he hasn't heard whether anyone has used it.
Proctor and Gamble donates supplies of Dawn to animal rescue operations. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127999735&sc=ipad&f=1001 -via Holy Kaw!
(Image credit: Elizabeth Shogren/NPR)