WEN Manufacturer Kept Hair Loss Studies Secret

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As over 17,000 customers complained to Guthy-Renker about severe hair loss and baldness from its WEN Cleansing Conditioner, the company was secretly conducting safety studies, according to a class action lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles.

What’s the problem?

January 7, 2016 – Although it’s still unclear as to what the results of the studies were, we know about their existence because of documents filed in a recent lawsuit entered against Guthy-Renker in Los Angeles. But due to an antiquated federal law that governs the personal care product industry, manufacturers of these products are not required to inform the FDA about customer complaints or their own safety studies. The companies are legally allowed to use virtually any ingredients they want without first ensuring that they are safe.

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have proposed a Personal Care Products Safety Act to fix this loophole. The bill would require cosmetics manufacturers to reveal their products’ ingredients and reports of adverse health events to the FDA. The companies would also be required to hand over internal studies showing potential health effects.

The FDA would have the authority to recall dangerous products, and to require specific warnings for items that contain ingredients not suitable for certain consumers.

Reports surfaced last month about hair loss from WEN Cleansing Conditioner, and also that it contains synthetic chemicals — including known allergens — even though Guthy-Renker advertises the products as naturally derived.

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