Coming Soon? Toothpaste Regulated as a Cosmetic in China

Oral care products could be integrated into cosmetics regulations in China, recent Chinese news reports said, which could make them subject to stricter regulations by the China Food & Drug Administration (CFDA).

According to the CFDA, which has been overseen by Director Bi Jingquan since January 2015, its duty is to formulate the investigation and enforcement system for food, drugs, medical devices and cosmetics, and organize their implementation; organize the investigation and punishment on major violations; establish recall and disposal system for defect products, and supervise the implementation. In 2013, it was restructured to become a ministerial-level agency based on the former State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA).

According to news sources in China, the country’s state council called for public opinion in a bid to include oral care products into cosmetics regulations.

"China has previously not regulated oral care products and they are only subject to the supervision of the Quality Inspection Department. If they are included in the category of cosmetics, they will be subject to stricter regulations by the China Food & Drug Administration," a source told Shanghai's China Business News.

The source said in the China Business News report that just as cosmetics require screening, toothpaste that is marketed as medicinal will have to apply for special screening and some may have to undergo human trials to prove their medical effects (read about testing alternatives in C&T such as non-animal transdermal diffusion model testing for cosmetic actives and formulations). 

Also, if toothpaste is included as a cosmetic product, manufacturers will have to list all of the ingredients.

In June 2007, the  U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned consumers to avoid using tubes of toothpaste labeled as "Made in China" and issued an import alert to prevent toothpaste containing the poisonous chemical diethylene glycol (DEG), also known as diglycol or diglycol stearate, from entering the United States. 

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