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Pallone Urges FDA to Investigate Cosmetics Company Rodan + Fields

Jan 25, 2018
Press Release
Rodan + Fields’ Marketing Included Misleading Information on Product Safety

Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today to investigate Rodan + Fields after the cosmetics company apparently used false and misleading marketing efforts to dissuade consumer concerns over the safety of a potentially carcinogenic ingredient used in their products. 

Pallone sent letters today to FDA and Rodan + Fields after the company apparently mischaracterized FDA’s position on the ingredient benzophenone, a chemical sometimes used in personal care products such as sunscreen and fragrances.  Both California’s Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer have identified benzophenone as a possible carcinogen as well as a possible endocrine disrupter.

Under California state law, Rodan + Fields is required to include a warning on any product containing benzophenone.  As recently as last week, Rodan + Fields’ warning label for products containing benzophenone included hyperlinks to an external website sponsored by the cosmetics industry that claimed to provide information on FDA’s position on benzophenone.  Rather than directing consumers to FDA-provided information about this chemical, the hyperlink directed consumers to an industry finding that benzophenone is safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products. 

“Rodan + Fields’ action at a minimum could mislead consumers and possibly place their health at risk,”Pallone wrote to FDA. “Their website erroneously states that it will provide further information from FDA, the agency charged with regulating cosmetics, but instead directed consumers to a web site that is fully funded by the cosmetics industry itself and which outlines the industry’s self-assessment on the safety and use of benzophenone.”

Pallone continued in his letter to FDA, “This deceptive action on the part of Rodan + Fields is not consistent with the public health goal of helping consumers make informed decisions regarding product purchase or protecting consumers from potential health hazards. Given this, I urge FDA to investigate the actions of Rodan + Fields.”

Pallone has long advocated for greater transparency in the cosmetic and personal care product industry and released draft legislation in 2016 that would give FDA greater authority over cosmetics and personal care products.

“I continue to work in Congress to pass legislation that would give FDA greater authority over cosmetics and personal care products because it is clear that some manufacturers may be marketing contaminated or harmful products and misleading consumers about the safety of their products,” Pallone wrote in his letters to FDA and Rodan + Fields. “This incident serves as one more example of why FDA and Congress must come together to enact changes to our cosmetic regulatory framework to ensure that consumers are not harmed by the products they use every day.”

Pallone’s letter to FDA is available HERE.

Pallone’s letter to Rodan + Fields is available HERE.