IFRA retaliates to industry concerns regarding the amended code of practice

By Louise Prance

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Ifra, Fragrance industry, Aroma compound

On-going industry misgivings that the International Fragrance
Association's (IFRA) recent 40th amendment directly
alienates smaller businesses has prompted the president of the
association to retaliate against such accusations.

IFRA announced the 40th​ amendment of its voluntary Code of Practice earlier this year, including the revised Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) policy that now requires more intricate testing on all ingredients used within fragrance manufacturing. The complexity of implementing the QRA caused industry lobby groups, who are mainly concerned with natural ingredient manufacturing, to raise concerns that smaller businesses do not have the ability to wade through 'the unnecessary red tape' caused by the amendment. Jean-Pierre Houri, president of the IFRA, spoke to CosmeticsDesign​ to give his stance on the matter, "The first thing to remember is that the IFRA represents over 90 per cent of the industry, and the amendment was not developed in isolation, but with full support of many IFRA members, and individual bodies". "The QRA was developed to better benefit the end consumer and methodically refine fragrance manufacturing to further reduce the risk of dermatological problems as a result of fragrance wearing"​ he continued. With fragrance manufacturers now required to test on 11 different levels as opposed to one, industry insiders have suggested that the fragrance industry will now be overrun with larger corporations who have the capital available to implement the scheme. In turn, it is alleged that this could lead to the end of smaller perfumers who rely heavily on the current consumer trend for natural and organic products and do not have the time and manpower to undertake the policy, but will also be frowned upon if they do not adhere to IFRA's voluntary Code of Practice. Houri retaliated to this query, stating, "The revised Code of Practice will no doubt cause much more work for smaller businesses and they will have to look more in-depth at their fragrance manufacturing. However, it is by no means impossible and, if done correctly, is perfectly manageable". ​He continued to say that an upcoming 42nd​ amendment, set to be announced in April, will further benefit these smaller businesses with new policies set to allow an additional year for companies to reformulate fragrances that do not fall in line with the amendment - setting the deadline of 2009. The new amendment will relate to 30-40 ingredients and is said to allow manufacturers in the fragrance industry to 'know the rules for QRA scheme in advance, and abolish the step-by-step approach' that threatened to upset the industry further. The independent watchdog for the aroma trade, Cropwatch, is currently campaigning to boycott the recent 40th amendment to its voluntary code of practice with a new online petition. At present the petition has over 700 names on it, mainly consisting of smaller independent fragrance companies who share Cropwatch's view over the uncertainty of their future if they are made to abide by the new regulations. The petition, hosted on numerous pro natural cosmetic websites, encourages members of the IFRA to leave the organisation in favour of the Cropwatch boycott, which accuses IFRA of 'creating a hostile environment' for the aroma trade due to the restrictive legislation about to be enforced. However, according to the IFRA, Rexpan, an independent panel of experts that has 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 European market, angered that individuals with no experience within the cosmetics industry are able to oversee the way fragrances are created. 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: Formulation & Science

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