Are French lavender farmers losing the battle against warning labels?

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Are French lavender farmers losing the battle against warning labels?

Related tags Lavender oil Essential oil

French lavender farmers have complained loudly about warning labels for cosmetic and fragrance products containing lavender oil, but it seems like regulators are going through with the move regardless.

In their defense, the farmers say that lavender oil, used for perfumes, cosmetics and aromatherapy is not a chemical and allergies only tend to produce rashes.

Now an article in the journal Chemical & Engineering News, says that the dispute is starting to get even more heated, with lavender farmers across the country even threatening to quit the business altogether, while regulators still saying they aim to get the ruling sealed by next year.

Lavender farmers claim to have been transparent

Highlighting the plight of the farmers, the report’s author, Alex Scott, stresses the fact that the lavender industry has been transparent about the known allergic reaction, pointing out that at least one lavender producer has already notified the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to point out that the essential oil can cause mild allergic reaction.

Under EU regulations adopted last year, lavender oil will be classed as potentially producing allergies which places it within the chemical toxins category.

Drilling down on that, the ECHA has responded to concerns by stating it will classify the oils as a ‘skin sensitizer’.

This category means that the EU will require labels on associated products starting in 2018.

Guidelines due to released next year

Further to this, the guidelines for the regulation are due to be released next year, stipulating how warning labels on a range of products made with lavender oil must indicate that the oil is known to cause allergic reactions in certain people.

In response to this, the article highlights how an industry group representing 1,500 fragrance growers have now launched a campaign, which stresses the fact that many of these farmers says they would rather switch to a new crop than comply with the regulation.

Related topics Regulation & Safety

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