WRITTEN QUESTION E-1702/00 by Jonas Sjöstedt (GUE/NGL) to the Commission. Declaration of contents for perfume.
OJ C 81E , 13.3.2001, p. 75–75 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)
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WRITTEN QUESTION E-1702/00
by Jonas Sjöstedt (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(29 May 2000)
Subject: Declaration of contents for perfume
There are approximately 2500 different aromatic substances that can be combined to produce fragrances for shampoo, perfumes and toothpastes etc. In early 1999, the German health and environment magazine, OKO-TEST, claimed that their analyses showed that many of the best known perfumes in the world contain substances which, when used in experiments on animals, had produced indications of liver damage.
Is it not reasonable that the declarations of contents for such goods should state which aromatic substances are used?
Answer given by Mr Liikanen on behalf of the Commission
(30 June 2000)
The Commission is not aware of any aromatic substances that cause damage to the liver in humans when used as fragrance compounds in cosmetic products on the European market. As its main objective is to protect public health, Council Directive 76/768/EEC of 27 July 1976 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to cosmetic products(1) the Cosmetics Directive, states as a general principle that only cosmetic products that do not cause damage to human health can be put on the market. Therefore cosmetic products can only contain safe ingredients. An ingredient which cannot be safely used should be banned because the cosmetic product would not be safe anymore.
Under the Cosmetics Directive, the safety of ingredients, even those used only as fragrance compounds, can be evaluated by the scientific committee. If, based on scientific data, the scientific committee is of the opinion that the substance submitted is toxic for the human liver when used as a cosmetic ingredient, it should be banned and to this end put in Annex II of the Directive. If the scientific committee considers that such ingredient is safe up to a certain level, then its use should be restricted and this ingredient put in Annex III. An ingredient which has been shown to cause damage to the human liver should be banned or its use restricted to a level which ensures its safety and not merely declared on the label.
(1) OJ L 262, 27.9.1976.