WASHINGTON – The federal government has little to no power to make sure what’s in your shampoo, or other personal care products are safe, unlike food and medicine, U.S. regulators also can’t force a cosmetic company to remove a product from the shelves if it’s unsafe.
A new bipartisan plan in Washington could force companies to take cosmetics deemed to be safe off the market.
Miriam Lawrence used a Wen hair product on her 9-year-old daughter Eliana.
She had an adverse reaction to the product.
The third time she used the shampoo, Miriam said, “Her hair slipped off her head on contact instantly.”
Eliana, now 11, is still missing about a quarter of her red curly hair.
Wen products has received tens of thousands of complaints about hair loss, baldness and rashes.
The company isn’t required to notify the government of “adverse reaction” reports – even if someone dies.
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ) unveiled a bipartisan proposal that would strengthen the FDA’s authority to regulate cosmetic products.
Under the plan, still in the drafting stage, the FDA would have the power to review the safety of ingredients used by cosmetics companies in their products and the ability to order recalls if a product turns out to be unsafe.
Companies would have to prove that their products are safe before putting them on the market.
The FDA regulation would be funded by $20.6 million in fees levied on cosmetics manufacturers.
Lawrence says she was shocked regulations aren’t already in place.
I would never have guessed a shampoo would do that especially one that purported to be extra gentle and natural,” said Lawrence.
Wen hair products says its products are safe and is working with federal regulators.
In August, the FDA issued a safety alert on Wen products.