We Are Sunshine

Natural Society: FDA Hiding Sunscreen Risks

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

A leading natural health advocacy group has accused the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of knowing about potential risks in many over-the-counter sunscreen products for more than a decade while doing nothing to warn consumers.

The Natural Society — a group that believes that what’s natural should always be the first health-care option — targeted FDA in an on-line story. “A new report issued by the consumer protection organization Environmental Working Group (EWG) reveals that many popular sunscreens contain ingredients known to spur the growth and spread of skin cancer cells, which defeats their stated purpose of preventing skin cancer,” the group wrote. “Data indicates that the sun’s rays combine with certain sunscreen ingredients in the skin and damage skin cells, which can lead to lesions and tumors — and worst of all, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allegedly been aware of this critical information for the past ten years, but has done absolutely nothing to warn people about it.”

The group quoted an AOLNews story published earlier this year cornering FDA using FDA’s own decade-old research on vitamin A derivatives used in sunscreens. “According to a report by AOL News, about half of the sunscreens tested contained vitamin A ingredients and derivatives like retinol and retinyl palmitate, which FDA’s own studies have shown are photocarcinogenic, meaning they become toxic when exposed to sunlight. In fact, an older FDA report explains that sunscreens containing vitamin A ingredients cause tumors and lesions to develop and spread 21 percent faster than sunscreens that do not contain vitamin A ingredients.”

Sunlight is natural and intended, the group believes. “And yet the FDA continues to remain silent about the dangers of vitamin A in sunscreen, including in its recent updated sunscreen guidelines that make no mention of them.”

“There was enough evidence ten years ago for FDA to caution consumers against the use of vitamin A in sunscreens,” said Jane Houlihan, EWG’s senior vice president for research, to AOL News. “FDA launched this one-year study, completed their research and now ten years later, they say nothing about it, just silence.”

To read the Natural Society report click here.