Watchdog Welcomes New FDA Advisory Reiterating Ban on Five Cosmetic Preservatives

The EcoWaste
Coalition, a watchdog group promoting consumer and environmental health,
welcomed the government’s latest advisory to protect consumers from five types
of parabens used as preservatives in cosmetics. 
On Tuesday, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) issued Advisory No.
2016-032 reiterating the ban on  five
parabens, namely: benzylparaben, isobutylyparaben,
isopropylparaben, pentylparaben and phenylparaben.
The FDA’s action is in line with the ASEAN Cosmetics Directive, which has added
the above named parabens in the “list of substances which must not form part of
the composition of cosmetic products” in November 2014.
According to the FDA, “cosmetic products found
to contain any of the five identified banned ingredients pose potential health
risk to the consuming public and therefore, shall not be allowed to be placed
or to remain in the Philippine market starting 1 January 2016.” 
“We support FDA’s effort to have cosmetics containing banned parabens withdrawn
from the market ,” declared Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s
Project Protect.    
“Pharmacies, supermarkets and cosmetics specialty stores should cease from selling
such products that can put consumer health and safety at risk,” he said.   
Despite being given sufficient grace period
that ended on 31 December 2015, the EcoWaste Coalition lamented that some
sectors of the cosmetics industry have failed to comply with the said
Test buys conducted by the EcoWaste Coalition on various occasions from January
to April, 2016 revealed that over 35 skin care, hair care and foot care
cosmetics containing isobutylparaben and/or isopropyl paraben, which are among
the five banned parabens, are being sold in popular retail outlets in Metro
Most recently, the group was shocked to find 10 types of UK-manufactured “Beauty
Formulas” listing isobutylparaben as an ingredient, noting that it  would be illegal to sell these items even in
UK and the European Union where the ban on the five parabens took effect much
earlier in July 2015.
Under the European Commission Regulation (EU) NO. 358/2014, cosmetics
circulating in Europe should not contain any of the banned parabens from 30 July
The EcoWaste Coalition urged  the FDA to watch
out for any attempt to illegally dispose of remaining stocks of non-compliant
products by selling them at rock bottom prices.
“The authorities should take swift action against recalcitrant manufacturers,
importers, distributors and retailers selling cosmetics laced with banned
parabens,” the group said.