International Cooperation on Cosmetics Regulation (ICCR), Outcomes of ICCR-6, Rockville, MD, July 10-13, 2012

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In the Spotlight

International Cooperation on Cosmetics Regulation (ICCR), Outcomes of ICCR-6, Rockville, MD, July 10-13, 2012

Catherine Willett, Humane Society of the United States

Published: September 25, 2012

ICCR is an international group of regulatory authorities working together “to promote regulatory convergence, while maintaining the highest level of global consumer protection and minimizing barriers to international trade.” The group covers cosmetics from Canada, the European Union, Japan, and the United States; its annual meeting location rotates among the four regions. The first day of each meeting is confined to regulators only, the second day includes representatives from cosmetics industry, and the third day is again open to regulators only. In 2011, ICCR included a half-day “stakeholder” session. This year (2012) the meeting also included regulators from Australia, Brazil, People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea, and Saudi Arabia.

The 2012 meeting focused on the following topics: alternatives to animal testing, in silico prediction models for safety assessment, nanomaterials, trace impurities, endocrine disruptors, and allergens. A summary of the meeting posted on FDA’s website describes the outcomes of the closed meeting. Regarding alternatives to animal testing, ICCR received an update of the International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods (ICATM) activities, and acknowledged the usefulness of the Current Alternative Test Method Validation and Regulatory Acceptance Status Report for ICCR which will be updated on a semi-annual basis. ICCR has updated its report¬†Applicability of Animal Testing Alternatives in Regulatory Frameworks within ICCR Regions. Working groups have been or will be established to consider the applicability of in silico models, safe use of nanomaterials, issues relating to trace impurities, and compilation of regulatory approaches to allergens. Information on endocrine disruptors will be exchanged amongst regulators and future work considered.

During the brief stakeholder session, a representative from the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments appealed to ICCR to insist on full disclosure labeling of ingredients in cosmetic products, and a representative from the Environmental Working Group lobbied for increased regulatory oversight of cosmetics by FDA and for increased stakeholder participation in ICCR. The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International presented a proposal for an ad-hoc working group to address international harmonization of policies and best practices affecting animal testing. In particular, the proposed working group would expand ICCR’s consideration of ICATM-approved alternatives, and harmonize policies aimed at maximizing use of alternatives to animal testing and minimizing animal use, while also minimizing trade barriers. ICCR has not yet responded to the proposal.