How can consumers know that some products they buy and consume daily are safe for their health and/or for the environment? Has any Authority evaluated their safety prior to enter the market?
During the past months and years, we have seen that some products that enter in the EU market without passing any registration (authorisation) procedure, such as prepared food products and cosmetics have put human health in risk, in some cases causing the terrible outcome such as people death. In the case of food products, the risk for human health is more related to quality control and microbiological contamination of the manufacturer facilities, which in our opinion require more control as well as the correct labelling including the real composition of the food product. With regard to cosmetics, the risk is more related to the composition and the incompatibilities of coformulant and/or because of the use of non-authorised coformulants. In both cases, the Authorities are aware of their risk when people is already exposed too much time after they are in the market, either because there is any health incident or because the Authorities evaluate the product for quality control.
Despite of that potential risk, we have not seen many publications where state that these products, their quality controls, their composition and labelling, should be evaluated prior to be marketed in Europe, taking into account the importance of these products that are either consumed or used for skin/hear treatment, in some cases with a daily frequency.
On the contrary, we have seen many times publications where pesticide products for agriculture and household use are quite dangerous and put people and the environment at risks. In fact, these pesticide products are put in the market after passing an evaluation and a registration process where their efficacy and their safety to human, animals and environment are the priorities in order to approve their marketing. If these products are used according to the approved label conditions, they should be safe for human, animals and the environment as the outcome of the evaluation has proved. The label content of these products is approved by the relevant EU Authorities according to certain limits that should be respected. It is the misuse of these products which can cause risk (also the massive and uncontrolled use by agriculture is causing risk for human and environment, this misuse will be subject to another Blog publication).
So, from our point of view, the actual risk of products put in the EU market is not equally considered and evaluated for human and environmental safety. Considering the frequency of consumption of prepared food and of cosmetic use for which human of all ages as well as the environment can be daily exposed, the fact that no composition evaluation and no risk assessment is performed to assure safety before being marketed is contradictory, compared with other kind of EU legislations that are quite strict, such as for Plant Protection and Biocides.