On June 30, 1906, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was established in the United States in order to protect consumers from contaminated and mislabeled foods and drugs. Although the FDA was not known by that name at the time, the entity inherited the responsibilities it now possesses with the passage of the Pure Foods and Drugs Act during the year 1906. The current roles of both the FDA and private sector health and beauty product researchers is an important one, as they help protect the American consumer from contaminated and otherwise harmful or ineffective products and medication. Although many products such as cosmetics, skin care creams, supplements, weight loss therapies, and some medical devices are not currently regulated, the FDA does step in when there have been negative reports or cases of death as a result of the use of these products. Private sector researchers play an auxiliary role which is equally important, as they help to root out the snake oil from the products that actually work in a market flooded with options.
Although consumerism and the ability to purchase and sell products at-will are highly-esteemed freedoms in the United States, the country may also benefit from tighter regulations regarding the manufacturing and testing of cosmetics, skin care creams, supplements, weight loss therapies, medical devices, health and beauty products.
The Importance of Cosmetic Health and Beauty Product Testing
Without a governing body to regulate product safety and without knowing where to look for a beauty product tester to determine product efficacy, the American public would be left in the dark as far as selecting safe and reliable cosmetic products. Beauty product testing is important because our skin is very absorbent and the things we put on our skin are frequently absorbed into the systemic circulation to one degree or another. Once they are absorbed into the body, these chemicals can wreak havoc on many different organs and body systems. Third party organizations have evaluated the contents found in skin care products such as lotions, sunscreen, and hand sanitizers and other cosmetic health and beauty products such as lipstick and nail polish. Over time they’ve found a variety of chemicals that are harmful to the reproductive system, possibly leading to infertility, thyroid problems, and diabetes mellitus; to the nervous system leading to brain dysfunction; to the immune system leading to many different types of cancer; and to a variety of other crucial body systems.
The Importance of Nutritional Supplement Testing
Nutritional supplement testing is important because some manufacturers abuse their rights by including large amounts of other substances such as rice, beans, asparagus, and wheat in their products. In some cases, the only herbal products found in so-called herbal supplements are contaminants. In these cases, consumers would benefit from increased surveillance by the FDA similar to their elevated control over the steroid industry and growth hormone markets. This would help ensure that only high-quality weight loss, herbal, and nutritional supplements are bought and sold in the American market.
The Importance of Medical Device Testing
There are many medical devices on the market today that make seemingly outrageous claims and yet have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA or by any other third party. These devices are frequently highly-priced and the marketing for these devices tends to be emotional in nature, preying on the ignorance, vulnerability, and overall susceptibility of the public. Regulation by the FDA in these cases may be of benefit in that the regulating body would be able to place restrictions on those companies whose devices do not actually live up to their claims and protect the public from their deceptive marketing.
While the FDA currently serves an important role in the regulation of foods and drugs in the United States, manufacturers in fields that are not mandatorily regulated by the FDA authority. Cosmetics, nutritional supplements, weight loss health and beauty products, and some medical devices have abused their rights and privileges by allowing contaminated and sub-par products to be sold to consumers, leaving the public in a position where we may need additional mandatory regulation. In the absence of increased regulation, consumers increasingly turn to private sector researchers and product testers to fill in the gap.