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EU publishes new position paper on cosmetics

Trade negotiations between US and EU prompt publication of cosmetics position paper

22 May 2014

The European Commission has published a position paper relating to the cosmetics industry as part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations.

The paper sets out a possible approach to promote a more unified approach to the regulation of the cosmetics sector.

Regulators in the EU and US have already worked together on a number of topics and the position paper suggests working jointly on:

  • recognising EU/US lists of permitted or banned substances
  • mutual recognition of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs)
  • developing and using alternatives to animal testing
  • harmonising the methods and requirements for testing products
  • reinforcing regulatory cooperation on emerging areas
  • aligning requirements for labelling
  • working together in the International Council on Cosmetics Regulation (ICCR)

While the position paper only contains the preliminary outline of ideas that are to be developed in the future cosmetic lawyer Michelle Victor warns:

“Some people suffer from serious allergic reactions when they use products such as sun cream, shampoo and hair dye.  Often they have used these products safely for years but the introduction of chemical such as paraphenylenediamine (PPD) and methylisothiazolinone (MI or MIT) can trigger a reaction.

“It is extremely important that consumers know what chemicals are contained in the everyday products that they buy, and that these are labelled correctly.

“Strict regulation about the ingredients used in cosmetic products must be maintained by the EU and US as they work together on the latest trade negotiations.”

The cosmetic products team at Leigh Day has set up a facebook page, Expect its safe – cosmetics, a forum where you can share your experiences about consumer products and health.

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