It has been nearly two years since this column reported updates to the EU Cosmetic Directive. During this time, the recast of the directive, known as the 8th Amendment, has been proposed. This amendment currently is in review by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers. If an agreement is reached, the personal care industry will see many sweeping changes, as reported in the June 2008 edition of this column.
One of the justifications for the total revision of this directive is the belief that it has been changed 55 times due to inconsistencies. This is misleading because although the fundamental regulations have been amended seven times, the majority of changes were Adaptations to Technical Progress (ATP). These changes reflect the advancement of knowledge-whether they are new developments in UV filters or preservatives, or restrictions on ingredients. Also included in ATPs are additions to the list of not permitted ingredients. Thus, stating that a revision of the directive is necessary due to inconsistencies is like saying the industry should return to the Dark Ages and freeze all learning and discovery.