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Too dangerous for the hands but not the mouth!

by Editor (comments: 0)

The recent request from the Cornucopia Institute, a food and farm policy watchdog group working to uphold the integrity of organic, local, and other forms of alternative agriculture, made to the FDA raises the issue of the regulations regarding what is considered to be healthy or natural. In the letter, the Cornucopia Institute demanded a ban on the possible carcinogen triclosan in toothpastes, as the FDA has recently done for hand soaps. "If this chemical is not safe to wash your hands with, then we should also remove it from products that you put directly in your mouth," asserts Mark Kastel, Senior Policy Analyst at the Cornucopia Institute in the Common Dreams article.  

Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent found in consumer products and surgical cleaning treatments. Its efficacy as an antimicrobial agent, the risk of antimicrobial resistance, and its possible role in disrupted hormonal development remain controversial. Indeed, the lack of consistency in “yes, banned”  for the hands but “not banned” for the mouth leaves many consumers perplexed.

US products may also vary in their chemical composition according to the geographical market they are designated to. The European market is traditionally stricter than the US market. Only 11 synthetic ingredients in cosmetics are restricted or prohibited by the FDA, whereas 1,300 ingredients are prohibited and 250 ingredients are restricted for use in personal care products in the European Union. Subsequently, cosmetics in the U.S. can contain many unsafe chemicals that are banned in Canada, Japan and Europe. Therefore, many U.S. products have two versions, one for their own market and one for the European market.

The rise of awareness in America and the higher focus on health could force American brands to adjust to stricter standards.



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