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Regulatory Review—US and Canada Updates: Canadian Cosmetic Harmonization and the FDA's Claim Crackdown
By: David C. Steinberg, Steinberg & Associates
Posted: January 4, 2013, from the January 2013 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
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Publishing what terms or claims makes a product a drug in Canada is far better than the arbitrary guessing game in the United States, where methods encourage marketers to “push the envelope” on claims until the FDA sends out a warning letter. In the past, a product manufacturer changed claims after being caught and went on with its business. Now, lawyers in California can sue manufacturers over false claims, so “the price of poker just went up!” Instead of a “buyer beware” mentailty, there is a “marketing department” beware. Notice how many different claims were cited in the warning letters. Using the defense, “Everyone else is doing this, so I must do it to compete,” does not look so bright, now.
The California Green Chemistry issue sounds good, as everyone is after a safe and clean environment. However, this law will not make products more expensive rather than safer, making many products disappear from store shelves. When their favorite products are not on retail shelves in California, the state’s consumers will obtain their product online, ultimately hurting California’s revenue.
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1. Guidance for Heavy Metal Impurities in Cosmetics, Health Canada, www. hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pubs/indust/heavy_metals-metaux_lourds/index-eng. php (Accessed Nov 16, 2012)
2. 16 Legislators Ask Governor Brown to Delay “Green Chemistry” Regulations, http://michaelrubio.org/16-legislators-ask-governor-brown-to-delay-greenchemistry- regulations/ (Oct. 21, 2012) (Accessed Nov 16, 2012)
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