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Australian cosmetics trade association pushes for nano labelling

By Katie Bird , 14-Sep-2010
Last updated on 14-Sep-2010 at 13:10 GMT2010-09-14T13:10:15Z

Accord, the Australian cosmetics trade association, is calling for the labelling of nano ingredients on cosmetics ingredients lists to mirror the changes to the European regulation.

Under the proposed regulation, all ingredients in the nanoscale should be labelled as such, in both cosmetics and sunscreen products; which the body refers to as EU-style labelling.

“All ingredients present in the form of nanomaterials shall be clearly indicated in the list of ingredients. The names of such ingredients shall be followed by the word ‘nano’ in brackets,” the body said.

Changes should come into force on the 11 July 2013, mirroring the date specified in the EU regulation, it added.

Consumers can make informed choices

According to the association, enforcing the labelling of nanomaterials recognises consumers’ desire to know more about the products they use.

Accord claims that labelling nanomaterials will:

  • provide Australian consumers with the information they need to make informed choices
  • provide certainty and transparency within the Australian sunscreen an cosmetic market
  • and achieve harmonisation with the EU and other markets which are likely to adopt similar regulation in the future.

Confident of safety

However, the body was keen to point out that it saw no danger in the use of nanomaterials in cosmetics.

“Our industry is confident in the safety of cosmetics and sunscreen products, including the limited number that use nanomaterials,” it said in a statement.

In addition, Accord referred to campaigns by activist groups such as Friends of the Earth as scaremongering.

“…Accord rejects Friends of the Earth’s ongoing [anti-nanotechnology] claims as ideologically-driven scaremongering and contrary to the weight of scientific evidence supporting safety to the public”.

Avoiding regulatory delays

The Australian body first mooted the changes in June this year when it released a paper detailing the proposal and it was presented to government at a meeting held with Health Minister Roxon on June 16.

However, the ongoing delays that led to the formation of the coalition government were of concern to Accord, which felt regulatory changes could be further delayed.

“Given this, Accord is of the view that the Australian Government should commence a project to develop this policy proposal,” it said in a statement.

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