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FDA invites public opinion on cosmetics regulation discussion

By Lucy Whitehouse , 28-Apr-2014
Last updated on 28-Apr-2014 at 16:20 GMT

FDA invites public opinion on cosmetics regulation discussion

In a public meeting to be held next month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will seek out agenda items which reflect public and industry concerns, to be then discussed at the ICCR-8 meeting this summer. 

The ICCR is an international group of regulatory authorities that seeks to promote global regulatory union while maintaining consumer protection and minimizing barriers to international trade, and its annual meeting’s agenda is informed by these public preparation meetings.

Previous ICCR meetings have included such industry hot topics as nanomaterial safety and animal testing alternatives, and the preparation meeting will offer the chance for current issues to be brought to the fore at a time when regulatory concerns are mounting for the industry.

US regulation

Titled ‘Preparation for ICCR-8 Meeting’, the current call for proposals for ICCR agenda items from the US follows recent tension on regulation proposals between the Personal Care Products Council, which represents industry interests, and the FDA.

FDA Deputy Commissioner Michael R. Taylor last month addressed a letter to the PCPC expressing his "profound disappointment"  over its proposal for a cosmetics regulatory overhaul.

According to Taylor, the industry set of counterproposals were not consistent with the framework agreement the bodies reached last July, and posed real and substantial risks to consumers; claims which the PCPC rejected.

The ICCR public meeting may offer an opportunity to improve relations on the topic of regulation, a change the PCPC would welcome, according to president Lezlee Westine.

"We urge the Agency to return to the table so we can continue to work together to build consensus that is necessary to these discussions,” read her response to the FDA letter last month.

“We all share in the common goal of protecting consumers – in fact; product safety is the cornerstone of all that this industry represents."

Up for debate?

A potential topic to be pulled up for discussion may well be animal testing, as last year four animal rights groups spoke at the ICCR-7 meeting, and since then, the issue has only been gaining further momentum.

With the EU, Israel and India all introducing bans on cosmetics tested on animals last year, San Paulo’s move to join them this year in Brazil means these concerns are moving ever closer to home for the US.

Indeed the Humane Cosmetics Act, which was introduced to the U.S. congress last month, would ban cosmetic testing on animals if passed; meaning testing alternatives are already a key concern for the industry. 

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