WRITTEN QUESTION No. 2883/97 by Glyn FORD to the Commission. Listing of soap and cosmetic ingredients in Latin
OJ C 117, 16.4.1998, p. 92 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)
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WRITTEN QUESTION E-2883/97 by Glyn Ford (PSE) to the Commission (17 September 1997)
Subject: Listing of soap and cosmetic ingredients in Latin
Can the Commission confirm reports that a directive has been introduced requiring all ingredients of soap and cosmetic products to be listed in Latin on the product packaging?
Answer given by Mr Bangemann on behalf of the Commission (8 October 1997)
Council Directive 76/768/EEC of 27 July 1976 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to cosmetic products ((OJ L 262, 27.9.1976. )) (the cosmetics directive) as amended ((OJ L 151, 23.6.1993. )) provides for the labelling of ingredients on all cosmetic products, including toilet soaps and decorative cosmetics.
The Commission has established ((Decision 96/335/EC of 8 May 1996 establishing an inventory and a common nomenclature of ingredients employed in cosmetic products - OJ L 132, 1.6.1996. )) a common ingredients nomenclature that makes it possible to identify the substances by using a single name in all Member States. The INCI (International nomenclature cosmetic ingredient) names that have been adopted best meet these requirements in that they are relatively simple and already in use at international level. Such practices enable consumers to recognise substances that they have been advised to avoid(for example because of allergies), no matter where the product is purchased.
In some cases, in which an ingredient was known by a different common name in various geographies, the Latin name was adopted for labelling purposes e.g. Aqua is the INCI name for water. This was certainly the approach taken for a number of plant extracts and similar natural ingredients. However, the published nomenclature has been agreed at an international level.