After John Wasik's wife, Kathleen, was diagnosed with breast cancer, the couple started to ask "why"? She didn't have the BRCA breast cancer gene, and her surgeon suggested that environmental factors might be responsible. Eventually, Kathleen discovered the Breast Cancer Fund, and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. She proceeded to throw away her cosmetics—and Wasik started a journey exploring the vital question that we at the Breast Cancer Fund have been asking for the past ten years:
"How is it, I wanted to know, that the FDA, which was created by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938, leaves the regulation of cosmetics largely up to the cosmetics industry?"
He explains how the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, the entity that is supposed to be responsible for ensuring the safety of cosmetic products, is not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests and would not disclose its budget. As Wasik points out: “the CIR has no power over the industry that finances it.”
Wasik also explores pinkwashing and cosmetic company lobbying: two powerful explanations for our lax regulatory environment. The piece ends on a guardedly hopeful note with the introduction of the Safe Cosmetics Act.
Wasik reported this piece for the Investigative Fund, which is part of The Nation Institute. He has been working as a financial reporter for the past 25 years, and this article is a must read.
To learn more about the cosmetic links to breast cancer: http://bit.ly/12Wa8YM
To take action on the Safe Cosmetics Act: http://bit.ly/2013SafeCosmeticsAct