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Relaxing the relaxed standards?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

a.jpgThe relationship between government and the cosmetics industry has been a cozy one for many years. The multi-billion dollar cosmetics industry has always been a self-regulating one, and in fact, FDA cannot require companies to test their cosmetic products for safety. In addition, the cosmetics industry can use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient.

But not only is the government not regulating the industry, they are having closed door meetings with them, where they can discuss regulations! You know, the meetings where government treats the industry like a partner, not the body that should be regulated. One of them is happening in few days, and the public is not allowed in.

According to the FDA's web site, the purpose of the meeting is

"To pave the way for the removal of regulatory obstacles to international trade while maintaining the highest level of global consumer protection."
Really? What regulatory obstacles? The law is so lax that there is nothing left to remove from it!

For example, our past analysis of ingredients in more than 23,000 products, discovered that nearly 1 of every 30 products sold in the U.S. fails to meet 1 or more industry or governmental cosmetics safety standards. We also found nearly 400 products sold in the U.S. containing chemicals that are prohibited for use in cosmetics in other countries, and over 400 products contain ingredients the U.S. cosmetic industry's own safety panel has determined to be unsafe when used as directed. Now, what is there to remove from those "regulatory obstacles?"

The FDA is holding a public meeting before that meeting with the industry, and of course, EWG is delivering remarks. Check our web site for more details this afternoon.