Industry body slams cosmetics ‘shockumentary’

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Personal care products, Cosmetics, Safe cosmetics

Industry body slams cosmetics ‘shockumentary’
Cosmetics trade association the Personal Care Products Council has criticized a short video launched by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, saying it generates unwarranted public fear.

The seven minute video ‘The story of Cosmetics’ was launched by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics to support its calls for regulatory change, in the form of the Safe Cosmetics Act 2010.

Introduced in the House of Representatives yesterday the bill calls for an overhaul of the law ‘that allows chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, or other illnesses in the products we use on our bodies every day’. CosmeticsDesign.com USA covered this proposed bill which can be found here​.

‘The Story of Cosmetics’ claims to educate consumers of what is in cosmetics products and push for the regulatory changes necessary to get ‘toxic products off our shelves’.

Bathroom ‘a minefield of toxins’

During the video, narrator Annie Leonard claims ‘her bathroom is a minefield of toxins’ saying that less than 20 percent of the ingredients used in cosmetics have been assessed by the industry’s safety panel.

Leonard refers to the system as ‘a giant experiment’ where mystery chemicals are being used and consumers are just waiting for the results.

In addition, the video criticizes the work of Estee Lauder and its support of anti-breast cancer campaigns, calling it 'pink washing', as it claims the high-end cosmetics company uses toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancer.

'Repugnant and incredibly offensive' says PCPC

The Personal Care Products Council has firmly criticized the video, referring to it as a ‘shockumentary’.

“It is repugnant and incredibly offensive to suggest that cosmetic companies would manufacture, and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) would allow them to market, products that are dangerous or contain toxins that cause cancer or any other disease. It is absurd to suggest that the men and women in our industry would market products that could also cause harm to themselves and their families,”​ said Council spokeswoman Kathleen Dezio.

In addition, the body condemns the video’s attack on the philanthropic efforts of the industry referring to it as cheap and offensive.

“The personal care products industry gives more than $200 million in contributions to charitable causes each year, an amount almost twice that of any other industry in the manufacturing sector,”​ Dezio said.

“The ‘real’ story of cosmetics is that of an industry with a proven, lengthy track record of responsibility and safety and a strong commitment to making the lives of consumers better,”​ Dezio added.

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