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Cosmetic ingredients labelling welcomed by Greens

10 March 2008

Cosmetic ingredients labelling welcomed by Greens

The Green Party strongly supports a proposal by the Environmental Risk Management Authority for mandatory ingredient labelling of all cosmetics, Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

"Cosmetics and shampoos are applied directly to the skin, and many people use a combination of these products every day, all year round.

"Chemicals we put on our skin can easily find their way into our body, and consumers have every right to know what is in these products - just as they have the right to know what is in the food they eat. It is heartening that ERMA agrees with the Green Party," Ms Kedgley says.

The Environmental Risk Management Authority has released a consultation document which proposes to amend the Cosmetic Standards by requiring ingredient labelling on all cosmetics sold in New Zealand.

Ms Kedgley said the Green Party has been campaigning for many years for mandatory ingredients labelling.

"The ingredients in cosmetics are often potent chemicals, and some are known to be hazardous substances. Consumers have a right to know what is present in products they apply to their skin, so they can decide whether to buy them or avoid them.

"Some products comply with ingredients labelling requirements from Europe, Australia and the USA. However, there are still many imported and local products that do not have any ingredient labelling."

Ms Kedgley says the Green Party also welcomes the proposal to add a significant number of hair dyes to the banned or restricted lists in line with the European Union, and to ban diethylene glycol from toothpaste.
Last year the presence of diethylene glycol - a toxic chemical - in some Chinese toothpaste, including one brand sold in New Zealand, caused considerable international concern.

The ERMA proposal - at http://www.ermanz.govt.nz/consultations/consult-cosmetics.html - is open for submission until April 16th.
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