The industry representative body says the move aims to expand both the number of appointees to the executive panel as well as the number of staff that provide back up support to the panel. The expansion will include the addition of two new experts, who, along with the rest of the team, will be concerned with the preparation of new data and the enhancement of the CIR infrastructure. Reviewing 400 ingredients a year The enhancements mean that the team will be able to review up to 400 cosmetics ingredients a year, which serves as part of on-going efforts implemented in 2006 to strengthen the resources and the reach of the review panel. "This action will further accelerate the pace of cosmetic ingredient safety reviews and ensure that the program keeps pace with advances in scientific safety assessment processes as they emerge," the body said in an official statement. The CIR was established more than 30 years ago as an independent panel of scientists and physicians who are dedicated to reviewing the safety of cosmetic ingredients used in products worldwide. CIR bridges the gap Both the US FDA and the Consumer Federation of America participate in the CIR program, serving as liaison members, with the CIR bridging the gap between the regulating authority and the consumer body. The CIR collect all published and unpublished scientific research and safety data relating to cosmetics ingredients and publishes it in peer-reviewed scientific journals, providing a forum for this kind of scientific paper. The panel claims that by the end of this year it will have reviewed 1,500 personal care product ingredients, which is said to represent most of the materials used in cosmetics formulation in the US today. PCPC fights back against criticism Back in April this year the PCPC defended its position in the face of criticisms from consumer and interest groups that regulation of personal care products is not as stringent as it needs to be, with EU regulation frequently cited as being superior. At the time the chief scientist at the PCPC, John Bailey, Ph.D, told CosmeticsDesign.com that he strongly disagreed with this analysis. The trade association representative said that in some cases American regulations are stricter citing for illustration products that would be considered drugs in the US but are sold as cosmetics in Europe. The latest enhancement of the CIR should also serve to further underline the PCPC commitment and involvement with personal care safety regulation, stressing the fact that the regulatory process is comprehensive and thorough.