News Room

Council Corrects the Record

For Immediate Release: 
February 7, 2013

On Feb. 7, the Council submitted the following letter to the New York Times in response to an op-ed by food writer Mark Bittman titled, "The Cosmetics Wars."  The letter appears in its entirety.

Dear Editor:
Mark Bittman’s op-ed, “The Cosmetics Wars” (February 5) is full of factual errors.
Mr. Bittman’s assertion that cosmetic ingredients are not tested for safety is completely false.  So is his suggestion that animal testing is the only valid method to assess safety.  Federal law mandates that every product be substantiated for safety before it is brought to market, and FDA has the authority to enforce this.
However, the globalization of the marketplace, new technologies and evolving science support the need for modernizing FDA’s statutory authority and oversight. Industry has long advocated for additional funding for FDA’s cosmetics program and supports legislation to enhance FDA’s authority to assess safety.
While cosmetics are an easy target, they remain one of the safest categories regulated by FDA.  Any suggestion of serious health problems related to their use is irresponsible and without any basis in fact, sound scientific research or medical reality.
Halyna Breslawec, PhD
Chief Scientist
Personal Care Products Council