FDA Lacks Staff to Keep Consumers Safe

F.D.A. officials tell Congress they only have a few staff members to inspect the 3 million annual inbound international shipments of cosmetics. Last year many of the imported cosmetics tested contained ingredients harmful to U.S. Consumers.

Where do you turn when you canít trust the safety of your cosmetics because the F.D.A is overwhelmed? Considering the lack of F.D.A. oversight regarding the safety of imported cosmetics, choosing American made cosmetics that are formulated with natural ingredients may be a prudent choice.

According to a recent New York Times article, The F.D.A. made the statement as part of a letter to congress requesting legislation and resources to monitor cosmetics. Nearly three million cosmetics shipments enter the U.S. each year. The number of shipments has doubled in the last decade, and is expected to continue to increase.

The Food and Drug Administration reported frequent findings of contamination and illegal ingredients in imported cosmetics but says it does not have enough resources to inspect the number of shipments entering the country.

Cosmetics products include lipsticks, nail polish, powders, eyeliners and other products. Last year imports came from 181 countries from over 29,000 foreign companies. Companies are not required to register with the F.D.A. so most do not.

The F.D.A. only has six employees dedicated to inspecting cosmetics shipments. Last year, they inspected 9,871 of the three million. This represents only about 0.3 percent of shipments entering the United States.

Fifteen percent of the shipments inspected contained ingredients that could be harmful to U.S. consumers. In the products that were sent away for lab testing, 20 percent were found positive for contamination by bacteria, illegal color additives that can lead to injuries of the eyes and skin, mislabeled ingredients and substances like mercury.

President Trumpís 2018 budget proposal for the F.D.A. would further reduce F.D.A. funding for cosmetics import testing. The number of products tested last year was just under 10,000. Under new legislation, only about 1,600 would be tested.

The Environmental Working Group says the F.D.A. lacks the authority and resources to assess public health risks from cosmetics. Foreign companies have no obligation to disclose what they make or what ingredients they use.


Established in 2004, Afterglow Cosmetics provides natural color cosmetics, made in the USA, with certified organic ingredients. The company is well-known for creating glamorous looks using minerals and natural pigments for products formulated for individual style, health, and beauty.

To learn more about the company and the products, visit the links below.

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Published on: 2017-08-10

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