In December 2016, the FDA released a report on the negative effects of food and cosmetics. It’s been 13 years since last time they release the same report. Recently, a study based on FDA’s report by Dr. Steve Xu, a resident dermatologist at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University, reveal that cosmetic industry is largely self-regulated, and the effect of regulation is poor.
Dr. Xu said, “You can start making a cosmetic and start selling it the next day without any kind of permission from the FDA.” Also, manufacturers have no legal obligation to report any complaints they receive to the FDA. For example, before FDA started investigating WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners, they only received 127 complaints regarding the product. Lately, FDA find out that company received over 21,000 complaints regarding the products. This means only 0.6% complaints reach FDA. This delayed the start of the investigation, and hurt consumer’s interests.
To Dr. Xu’s point, we need better data and reporting of health complaints. The FDA also encourages consumer to read the label carefully before use of any cosmetic products, and to report any adverse events directly to FDA.
Dr. Xu’s paper: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2633256