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Campaign comes down on FDA

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

"FDA appears to still be operating under Bush-era tactics of secrecy and delay," based on the absence of any public statement, report or action from the agency related to lead in popular lipstick brands, which the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics brought to FDA's attention more than a year ago, rep Stacy Malkan says. On the other hand, the Canadian government is evaluating next steps after notifying public of lead in children's face paint, Campaign says, also pointing to Canada's action with regard to D4 and D5 siloxanes - which have been named "substances of concern" due to their environmental impact - as evidence that FDA is lagging behind its neighbor when it comes to personal-care regulation (1"The Rose Sheet" Feb. 9, 2009, In Brief). FDA "does not conduct routine safety testing of personal-care products and does not publicly report information in a timely manner - as evidenced by the lead-in-lipstick situation," the watchdog group says. The Campaign's October 2007 "Poison Kiss" study detected lead in 61% of lipsticks tested; three senators including John Kerry, D-Mass., reacted with a letter to FDA requesting that the agency "take immediate action" to protect the public. However, the American Council on Science and Health went on to name "toxic lipstick" the No. 1 "unfounded health scare" of 2007, and in March 2008 the California Attorney General recommended against Prop 65 action targeting manufacturers of lipsticks with lead concentrations lower than 5 ppm (2"The Rose Sheet" Jan. 7, 2008, p. 4). The Campaign maintains that "lead in any amount is a health concern ... and pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable.
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