Monday, August 22, 2011

Dirty Little Secrets: Neither Antibacterial Soaps Nor The FDA Help Us.

This just in from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: “Keep waiting.”
I was on the FDA website the other day, and it seems the FDA has quietly made a small change to a webpage that has big implications for all of us.  In a 37-year history of delays, FDA is again delaying protecting us from potentially unsafe chemicals in antibacterial soaps.
Back in April, 2010, FDA announced that it was studying the safety of triclosan (the chemical used in antibacterial soaps). It promised to communicate its findings to the public in spring, 2011. But with no public announcement, FDA recently edited the page to say that it would communicate its findings in the winter, 2012. Check it out for yourself: here’s a link to the page as it appeared when we filed our lawsuit this past summer and here’s a link to the webpage from today.
No explanation of why it needs the extra year and a half. No update on what it’s done so far. Nothing.
Mounting evidence shows that antibacterial soaps containing the chemicals triclosan and triclocarban are neither safe nor effective. In lawyer speak, that is a death sentence for any product awaiting FDA approval. But for the past 37 years, FDA has done nothingto protect us from these products. Neither pressure from a U.S. Congressman nor alawsuit by NRDC has been enough to push the FDA. And now FDA is giving itself another extension. We’re taking note – and so has the New York Times.

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