I Have Been Lied to. I Feel Betrayed. Part – 2

Obviously I feel extremely upset. More and more I see the lies and cover up stuff of EWG. Paul Penders Co always promoted The Safe Cosmetics Org. We proudly displayed their logo on our website. But no longer! We do no longer wish to be a part of this organization. Please do not take it from me alone. Please read a pretty amazing story of Colin Sander, a “green” cosmetic formulator in UK for almost 30 years. He too supported EWG. And he too feels being lied to as well. “Finally, I Have Worked Out What The Story of The Safe Cosmetics At 2010 is really all about”. We place Colin’s compelling story on our blog in 2 parts. Yesterday Part #1 and today Part #2.
 
                           
 
Part – 2
 
Two things made it clear to me beyond any doubt that there was a link between “American Private Label” company and the EWG.  First, one of the slides called for companies to sign the Safe Cosmetics Compact.  This is being organised by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, definitely a group completely within the EWG’s orbit.
 
Secondly, they described their services as Green Chemistry.  I was instantly reminded of the reference in the Story of Cosmetics to green chemists who were working to solve the problems caused by the unsafe ingredients in modern cosmetics.  I had no more thought that these green chemists actually existed than that the supposed carcinogens in shampoo actually existed. I had taken it as an a bit of idealistic wishful thinking. In fact it was a sales plug.
 
Now things that had puzzled me fell into place. The EWG’s ambition is no mean one.  They intend to create a new category of cosmetic product and to supply that category via American Private Label and probably other companies as well.  American Private Label already offer branding, packaging, QC and manufacturing.  But no doubt there are other sales to be made.
 
Now I could see it all.  I had imagined the EWG, which is extremely well funded, had got its money from donations.  Clearly not – this is big business in every sense of the word.  Why were they ignoring pleas from small natural companies who you would think would be their natural allies?  Because they are in fact their competition.  Why is the science on their website and in their reports so poor?  Because it isn’t science at all.  The aim is to make a case against their competition not inform the public about risk.
 
And let me emphasise this proposition is aimed at retailers.  It is not a grassroots consumer protest.  The video has been created as part of a programme to sell stuff.  The Safe Cosmetic Act is a publicity stunt.  If it alarms small producers, that is irrelevant.  If it infuriates scientists, that doesn’t matter.  The object is to deliver a tranche of consumers to the shops who will seek out ‘safe’ cosmetics.
 
And just as importantly they will be in a position to satisfy that demand with suitable products.  In his talk, David Pollack the CEO of American Private Label said that retailers should create ‘safe cosmetic’ areas in their stores.  These would be much like the organic sections they currently have. And I think the retailers will listen.
 
               
 
As the front page of American Private Label’s website says, the margins on this new category will be good.  I bet they will.  Will they be safer?  That question will probably not have even crossed their minds.  But just to be absolutely clear I believe that there will be no difference in safety between ‘safe’ products and established ones.
 
So I think I should end this post with an apology.  I write this blog with the idea that as an industry insider I have some knowledge and insight that might be useful to people who use the products of my industry.   I genuinely believed that I sort of knew what was going on.  But I have just realised that I completely missed the biggest marketing coup this business has ever seen.  I really couldn’t have got things more wrong.  Far from being a well meaning but flawed attempt to make the world better, the Story of Cosmetics is a sales pitch.  Nothing more.
 
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Colin Sanders formulates cosmetics for 27 years from shampoos to pharmaceutical creams and is an active member of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists since 1985. His degree is in environmental science and he continues to take a keen interest in the impact of human activities on the planet. He writes an excellent blog www.colinsbeautypages.co.uk for users of cosmetic products with insider insights and a bit of science.