Cosmetics claims and labelling not up to scratch, finds French govt body

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

Cosmetics claims and labelling not up to scratch, finds French govt body
The French Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and the Prevention of Fraud has released a report that states that labelling claims in the country for cosmetics are ‘poorly controlled’.

The body says it has carried out an investigation to check claims on cosmetics, their manufacturing practices and products for babies and children. It found that the provisions on labelling, claims, possession and composition of the information on packaging, as well as the Good Manufacturing Practices standard, are not controlled adequately.

One out of five control actions led to an anomaly, the body states. In response to these shortcomings, the DGCCRF says it has moved to increase the number of corrective and repressive suites.

Details of the investigation

According to the report,​ the DGCCRF investigators checked all categories of cosmetic products on the national market.

In the course of the investigation, 1674 visits were made in 1332 establishments (40% of retail distributors) and 5600 controlled products (of which 23% were products for the bath and shower).

Tests have led to the recognition that many manufacturers outsource the manufacture of products, the establishment of the DIP or the safety assessment, outside of any formal contract. Thus, the person sometimes does not hold DIP, which constitutes an Cosmetics Regulation offence.

Three main anomalies

In order to feed the European Commission's report on cosmetic claims, 1,030 allegations were checked. Of these, 46% were considered non-compliant and 91 were deemed likely to have a negative impact on the health of consumers as a result of this non-compliance.

The three types of anomalies most frequently identified during these checks were:

  • The absence or inadequacy of the substantiation of the allegations (tests not carried out on the target audience of the allegations, etc.);

  • The presence of claims to qualify products as medicinal products (eg "because of its high regenerative power, cream reconstructs tissues at the cellular level") or the properties of an ingredient, without justification: "calendula Soothing ";

  • Claims claiming the presence of an ingredient that was not present in the product or not in the amounts advertised.

Misleadingly, according to the body, some claims also refer to an origin, an upgrading method of manufacture ("Handmade") or to the natural, biological or hypoallergenic nature of the product.

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