Editorial – the value of an opinion

The future should in theory be looking rather less grim for parabens. The SCCS (the Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety) has issued its draft opinion saying propylparaben and butylparaben are safe for use in cosmetics at the levels currently used by the industry...

Clare Henderson, editor, SPC

The future should in theory be looking rather less grim for parabens. The SCCS (the Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety) has issued its draft opinion saying propylparaben and butylparaben are safe for use in cosmetics at the levels currently used by the industry. It also confirms its previous opinion that methylparaben and ethylparaben are safe in cosmetics, again at the levels currently used by the industry.

Many people in the cosmetics industry should naturally be delighted. The trouble is, so many manufacturers and consumers have already gone so far down the reformulating/free-from/alternative route it may just be too big a U-turn to contemplate, particularly if they’re happy with what they have, and of course there are some perfectly satisfactory options, plus some people are only interested in naturals anyway. And whatever the SCCS says, there is now a significant group out there that simply has it in for parabens.

Free choice is a great thing and everyone is entitled to use the kind of products they want, and indeed to their own opinion. But if an opinion that condemns something is so completely at odds with fact it must surely be wrong.

The CTPA points out on its The facts about... public site the value of this scientific endorsement of the safety of parabens after years of ‘misinformed speculation and unfounded prejudice’.

If only it were that simple.

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