Statement by Alexandra Kowcz, Chief Scientist Personal Care Products Council On Women’s Voices for the Earth Report
April 25 2018
Washington, D.C. – “The Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) supports the efforts of the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel because of the important and unique function the panel serves in providing critical safety assessments and assuring the safety of ingredients used by cosmetics and personal care products companies.
“In its latest report, Women’s Voices for the Earth makes baseless claims against the CIR. The report, either negligently or intentionally, misrepresents the relationship between CIR and PCPC in an effort to undermine the independence of CIR and CIR’s ability to operate free of bias. The CIR is a non-profit scientific body comprised of world-renowned scientists and physicians who have been publicly nominated to serve on the Expert Panel by consumer, scientific and medical groups, government agencies and industry.
“PCPC supports independent programs to review product and ingredient safety. The most significant example of this is CIR, which was established in 1976 with involvement and support from the FDA and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA). Critically, it is important to note that the current structure of CIR is the direct result of requests by governmental agencies (FDA) to develop the organization following an inability, or unwillingness, for the government to perform or fund this task directly. Since CIR’s creation, PCPC has endeavored to ensure that the Expert Panel maintains its independence and operates with transparency. Both FDA and CFA participate in the public safety deliberations.
“Today, CIR is the leading scientific program in the world dedicated to a thorough and continuous review of cosmetic ingredient safety and sharing their deliberations in a public forum. Anyone can attend the meetings and raise questions or concerns about any aspect of the deliberations. All CIR findings are published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, The International Journal of Toxicology.
“Additionally, the Women’s Voices for the Earth reports incorrectly that the only safety factors that manufacturers consider are the findings of the CIR Expert Panel. This is not accurate. “Consumer and product safety are top priorities for our industry. The U.S. cosmetics industry invests nearly $3 billion each year in scientific research and development. As a result of this research, approximately 2,000 new products are launched annually, and numerous scientific papers are published on enhancing or developing new safety methods. Companies substantiate the safety of their products using the same science-based approaches embedded in the research practices at FDA, EPA, and other regulatory agencies around the world. These safety assessments are thorough and address numerous health questions, including, but not limited to the potential for cancer, reproductive harm, allergic reactions, and how an ingredient is cleared if it goes through the body.
“Cosmetic and personal care products companies have a longstanding commitment to product safety and are guided by the core principle to do the right thing based on the best available science. We believe we are the safest product category regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and we take questions about the safety of our products very, very seriously.“