IFRA hit back at Cropwatch boycott

By Louise Prance

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Fragrance industry, Ifra, Perfume, Risk assessment

The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) has hit back at a
recent appeal by Cropwatch to boycott its recently published 40th
Amendment for its voluntary code of practise, over worries that it
will alienate the smaller industries that do not have the funds to
implement the new system.

Cropwatch alleged that the association has alienated smaller businesses but also questioned the science involved in the inclusion of the new Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) into the voluntary code of practice.

Cropwatch, an independent watchdog to encourage sustainable aroma production, also suggested that the IFRA had created a 'hostile environment for the aroma trade' with the implementation of the QRA.

However, according to the IFRA the QRA will only serve to aid the industry due to the incorporation of significant developments in the way dermal sensitization risk assessments are conducted for fragrance ingredients.

The IFRA state that the new assessment methods herald an improvement from former guidelines due to the fact it distinguishes among 11 end use applications and defines safe usage levels of fragrance ingredients for each one.

However, Cropwatch also claims that the new regulation discriminates against natural products being used in fragrances and favours synthetic ingredients with the IFRA responding by stating that natural products must also be regulated heavily as they are not deemed safe based solely on their sources.

The IFRA also responded to Cropwatch's claim that 'many of us, of course, have fundamental misgivings about the science involved' by saying that it takes many precautions to 'protect consumers' health and our environment'.

According to the IFRA, Rexpan, an independent panel of experts that have no commercial ties to the fragrance industry and consists of toxicologists, pharmacologists, pathologists, environmental scientists and dermatologists, reviews all findings from the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RFIM) and bases its knowledge on existing data.

However, press reports state that this is part of the reason why much of the aroma trade is moving out of the heavily legislated Europe due to anger that individuals with no experience within the cosmetics industry are able to oversee the way fragrances are created.

Matthias Vey, Scientific Director for IFRA told CosmeticsDesign at the time of the launch of the new amendments, " The revised code will have positive effects for the fragrance industry, however, it will be a time consuming and costly process with regard to implementation procedures for industry businesses."

He continued by saying that the new implementation would generate a huge workload for the fragrance industry with retraining for perfumeries, mass volume of paperwork and the introduction of new systems to adhere to the revised code.

However, he was adamant that it would only serve to create a safer and less risk involved fragrance industry. Having worked closely with dermatologists in creating the new code, Vey stated that it would therefore regain credibility for the association with industry professionals and would push them forward in working together.

The code of practice was first introduced in 1973 by IFRA to properly regulate and provide products that are safe for use by the consumer and for the environment and is said to reflect the current state of development regarding today's scientific and business environment.

It was mooted for revision in October 2006 after the association called for the inclusion of new policies essential for the fragrance industry and to update it with the latest market knowledge.

Related topics: Fragrance

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