It was a great relief to the consumers and animal rights groups when the EU Court of Justice ruled this week against making any exemption for some cosmetic formulations to be sold even if they have been tested on animals. The trade body EFCI (European Federation of Cosmetics Ingredients) had tried to find a loop hole for selling some brands which are tested on animals. The animal protection groups which appealed the court not to allow exemption from EU rules, welcomed the decision which upholds the integrity of the animal testing ban and sends strong message to the industry.
The EU rules establish:
1)Testing ban – prohibition to test finished cosmetic products and cosmetic ingredients on animals; and
2)Marketing ban – prohibition to market finished cosmetic products and ingredients in the EU which were tested on animals.
Globally, there are frequent attempts of the cosmetic industry to play around the rules which have been framed to protect the health of the consumers.
One such attempt is to avoid detailing potentially harmful chemical ingredients on the outer labels of perfumes. Manufacturers mention only the word “fragrance” on the label, on the pretext that showing specific ingredients would harm their “trade secret”. The consumers are, therefore, unknowingly absorbing many harmful substances into their skin as a routine. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) researchers found more than 75 per cent of products listing the ingredient “fragrance” that contained phthalates, known to cause disruption of hormonal activity, reproductive malformation and linked to few types of cancer and obesity.
FDA would like to put in place more effective regulatory regime to prevent growing use of harmful body care products being marketed by many companies. Under the current regulations, dating back to 1938, the companies do not need to list all ingredients in their products, nor do they have to register their manufacturing facilities with the Government. They are also not obliged to report adverse effects, making it difficult for regulators to zero in on potential problems.
In the absence of effective checks, most of the products, especially with chemical-based formulae, are being marketed with unverifiable claims. Majority of such products are being sold online. In order to ensure the safety of various personal care and cosmetic products that currently cost Americans nearly $60 billion a year, FDA is monitoring the problems and is engaged in prolonged negotiations with the industry representatives.
HerballyRadiant continues to promote safety of products, and use of healthy skin-friendly natural cosmetics and beauty care formulations.