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By: David C. Steinberg, Steinberg & Associates
Posted: July 30, 2009, from the August 2009 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
page 5 of 6
Proof of Claims
Since claims substantiation is expensive, some companies seek ways to make claims without doing the work or incurring the expense. Frequently they rely upon claims made by ingredient suppliers. In the United States, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus acts as the watch dog for all consumer advertising claims. This group does not accept ingredient claims as a base for finished goods claims. In the EU, ingredient suppliers’ claims have been accepted provided that manufacturers use the exact same ingredient and at the exact same dosage in a formulation. However, with the recast (described above), it is likely this will not be permitted in the future.
In my 40 years in the personal care industry, I cannot recall a time when so many new laws were being introduced in the US Congress and state legislative bodies for the regulation of cosmetics. It is clear that the NGOs are active and probably successfully swaying public (and now political) opinion toward the idea that cosmetics contain unsafe ingredients and that the public needs more protection by added legislation.
Such legislation takes the form of banning ingredients even when overwhelming scientific evidence supports their safety, and calling for the FDA’s pre-approval of all ingredients for use in cosmetics. If this comes to pass, ingredient approvals by the FDA will likely advance at the same pace as approvals for new UV filters—just three have been approved in 30 years. Further, where will the money come from to pay for this? User fees. This will drive all small- to medium-sized entrepreneurial companies out of business.
Who is to blame? The industry itself. The continued negative promotion of ingredients is like the industry wearing a “kick me” sign on its back.
Natural and organic marketers are active in this practice of free-from marketing. They are also some of the most guilty when it comes to ignoring regulations. Here’s an example from an unnamed company’s Web site: The first and only cosmetics made from antioxidant rich fruit and vegetable pigments. While other color cosmetics are made with either FD&C colors (synthetic dyes) or minerals, only 100% pure color cosmetics are made with fruit and vegetable pigments (patent-pending) ... .