When It Comes To Cosmetic Products’ Safety, FDA’s Hands Are Tied. Some Want To Change That.
A hair care product that consumers claim has caused hair loss is at the center of a battle that's been brewing over how much the government should be able to regulate cosmetic products. Right now, they can't do much, even if someone dies. But advocates are moving to increase the Food and Drug Administration's power.
The New York Times:
Their Hair Fell Out. Should The F.D.A. Have The Power To Act?
When the Los Angeles hairstylist Chaz Dean pitched his almond mint and lavender-scented hair care products — endorsed by celebrities like Brooke Shields and Alyssa Milano — he sold millions. But his formula got an unexpected result: itching, rashes, even hair loss in large clumps, in both adults and children. More than 21,000 complaints have been lodged against his Wen Hair Care, and Mr. Dean, the blue-eyed, golden-haired stylist to the stars, has found himself at the center of a fierce debate over the government’s power to ensure the safety of a cosmetics industry with about $50 billion in annual sales. (Lipton and Abrams, 8/15)
In other FDA news —
Surgical Device Maker Misled FDA, Whistleblower Contends
Yet the legal challenge is not over for Medtronic. The company, one of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers, now faces a whistleblower lawsuit that claims it sought Food and Drug Administration approval for its devices under false pretenses — and that the devices have been regularly used for a purpose that was never intended by regulators. “They were labeled, ‘not for cervical spine use,’ and yet in everything about them, including emails from their marketing folks, it makes clear that they were meant to be and were used in the cervical spine,” said Dr. Vikas Saini, president of the Lown Institute, a Boston health care think tank, who has followed the case. (Kaplan, 8/15)