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Monday, July 12, 2004

FDA safeguards your lipstick from Mad Cow

The Cosmetics, Toiletry and Fragrance Association received disappointing news from the FDA Friday when they were told that starting immediately members could no longer use cow brain and spinal cord tissue as an ingredient in their products including lipstick and hair spray.

The animal byproducts used to make lipstick longer lasting and silken or hair spray stand up well to heat and humidity are called cerebrosides, a form of lipid that is present in brain and spinal cord tissue.

The Food and Drug Administration became concerned after the first US case of mad cow disease was confirmed this past December. Consumer groups began to demand that animal products be tested for BSE or bovine spongiform encephalopathy before their inclusion in non-food products as well a food items. BSE infected tissue has been linked to the transmission of a fatal brain wasting condition in humans called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

The FDA requires cosmetics manufacturers to list ingredients. Cosmetic officials claim that they already obtain certification from their suppliers that the animal byproducts they purchase are BSE free.

If you would like to check a list of animal free cosmetics manufacturers you can go to Vegan Companies or better yet start your own list, we began with a company in Minneapolis Aveda. Write to The Naked Vegetarian and tell us your favorite vegan cosmetic brand, we'll compile a list and have a link in time for holiday shopping.

Incidentally there are 165 shopping days until Christmas.