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Banned Conservatives Found in Cosmetics Products in France

The two possible allergens were identified in more than 140 beauty products.

PARIS — More than 140 cosmetics products containing two conservatives prohibited in European Union have been pulled from French shelves, according to a statement issued by France’s General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control on Thursday.

The DGCCRF did not release specific names of the products.

Its findings came during checks made on manufacturer and distribution levels after the UFC-Que Choisir consumer association published a report in June outlining “undesirable substances in cosmetics,” including 23 products then containing methylisothiazolinone and isobutylparaben. The conservatives’ use became illegal in the EU on Feb. 12, 2017, and July 30, 2015, respectively, mostly due to their possible allergen effects.

“The investigation confirmed that cosmetics products containing the conservatives now banned were still being sold. These products were subject to an immediate withdrawal,” according to the DGCCRF.

Investigators found that some products whose formulas no longer contain the substances still carried old packaging labels indicating they did.

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In other instances, where the conservatives were still used, some manufacturers hadn’t been clearly informed. Similarly, certain retailers — especially those running “bazaar” type shops, according to the DGCCRF — knew little about the law-governing cosmetics.

The French directorate said it is remaining vigilant on the use of the conservatives.