Guilty by Six Degrees of Separation?

Until recently, certain cosmetic advocacy groups focused on deceiving the general public about cosmetic, beauty and personal care products.  Now they’re branching out to attack salon products and services!  They regularly e-mail scaremongering misinformation and post outlandish statements on their websites.  Why?  In large part, to frighten the public into donating millions of dollars, much of which is used to spread more misinformation designed to frighten the public into applying greater pressure on well-meaning politicians to support often unnecessary or misguided regulations.

A Clever Deception

One typical deception used is to ignore the “risks” and focus solely on the “hazards”, even though this is an unrealistic approach.  For instance, just because some people drive poorly and cause accidents, that is not a reason to demonize or ban cars.  In certain instances cars may be hazardous, but they are safe when used properly.  A better solution would be to focus on improving the skills of poor drivers.  By minimizing the “risks”, we safely enjoy the benefits of cars.

Some advocacy groups make exaggerated claims that certain ingredients are “linked” to an illness or disease even if only one study vaguely suggests this may be a possibility, while many other scientific studies disprove these claims.  The word “linked” is regularly used to trick the public/media into falsely believing that common ingredients, with a long history of safe use, are now suddenly dangerous.  What does “linked” really mean?  You’re reading my educational update so we’re “linked”, but that doesn’t mean our families are related.  This “linked trick” is used to fool the public into believing that these ingredients must be “toxic”, when usually the evidence for such claims is very weak, or highly questionable and almost always exaggerated.  For instance, one exaggeration would be to claim that a cosmetic is automatically guilty by association even if it contains only trace detectable amounts of these substances.
Beware of Tricksters

Many groups ignore any scientific information that disagrees with them and instead will twist the facts in tricky ways.  For instance if you applied, the “Six Degrees of Separation” rule, then every substance on Earth would be “toxic” because they are somehow “linked” to every illness, injury and disease!  By this method, organically grown carrots, baby’s breath, even pure oxygen or ancient glacier water would easily be “linked” to problems such as appendicitis, manic depression, broken bones, freckles, warts and even leprosy.  Silly of course, but no more silly than the pseudo-scientific misinformation coming from the many groups.  Don’t be fooled by fear-tactics! The facts are, “Cosmetics are among the safest products consumers can purchase.”  I’ve heard both Health Canada and the FDA say this and I agree!


…and so does the CCTFA, the very highly respected Canadian cosmetic association who produced a brand new, really EXCELLENT and FUN short animated film related to this topic.  I thank the CCTFA for allowing me to help introduce this to you and hope you will share it with everyone you know.

Please Enjoy “The Safety/Risk Equation”

brought to you by the

Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association


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