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Volume 886: debated on Monday 10 February 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection if she will make a study of the Bill which the French Health Minister is proposing to introduce to tighten controls on cosmetics, including a declaration of ingredients, with a view to introducing similar legislation; and if she will make a statement.

I am aware of the proposed French legislation. It is my intention to make regulations relating to the safety of cosmetic products on sale in this country, and their preparation will begin as soon as the proposed EEC directive on cosmetics, now under consideration by the Council of Ministers, is adopted.

Will my hon. Friend say whether the French proposals come within the scope of the EEC cosmetics directive or go beyond it? Will his proposed regulations include a declaration of ingredients, as consumers here are anxious to have that information?

The directive is not yet finalised. My understanding is that the French legislation is intended to implement the general purposes of the directive. I am looking at the possibility of requiring notification of ingredients even if we do not go as far as requiring the full ingredients to be listed on the label.

I welcome the Minister's pronouncements on ingredients, but will he also take the opportunity of investigating the quantities in which cosmetics are sold, as that is a vexed and long-standing problem?