Give these guys another three years and we may just be down to caves and antelope horns. After launching an assault on donuts, milk and popcorn, the FDA has expanded its war on everything to antibacterial soap.
U.S. regulators on Monday issued a proposed rule that would require makers of antibacterial hand soaps and body washes to demonstrate their products are safe and more effective than soap and water in preventing infection and the spread of bacteria.
“Although consumers generally view these products as effective tools to help prevent the spread of germs, there is currently no evidence that they are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement.
So naturally they ought to be banned.
FDA and EPA Working in Tandem on Triclosan
FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been closely collaborating on science and regulatory issues related to triclosan. This joint effort will help to ensure government-wide consistency in the regulation of the chemical.
Well you know how once the EPA gets involved in something it’s bound to end well.
“Due to consumers’ extensive exposure to the ingredients in antibacterial soaps, we believe there should be a clearly demonstrated benefit from using antibacterial soap to balance any potential risk,” Janet Woodcock, who directs the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, says in a statement.
That’s the guilty-until-proven innocent statute. Oh but wait…
One interesting twist to the proposal that Jenny Gold noticed is that antibacterial soaps used by hospitals are exempt from these new requirements. The FDA explains this by noting that health care settings are ones where there’s a higher risk of disease being spread.
“In the U.S. consumer setting, where the target population is composed of generally healthy individuals, the risk of infection and the scope of the spread of infection is relatively low compared to the health care setting, where patients are generally more susceptible to infection and the potential for spread of infection is high,” the agency writes in its preliminary regulation.
This is a bit of a weird justification, given that the agency doesn’t think antibacterial soaps do any better than regular soaps at stopping the spread of bacteria. But, this is where the FDA came down on the issue, and it means soap will now face different regulations depending on where it gets used.
So antibacterial soap is completely ineffective… which is why hospitals will be allowed to keep on using it. Sure.
That comes from the Washington Post which uniquely wandered off the media reservation compared to all the other media outlets which are just parroting the FDA’s talking points and cheerfully telling consumers to stock up while they can, because like incandescent light-bulbs and popcorn, they’ll soon be gone.
“This is a good first step toward getting unsafe triclosan off the market,” said Mae Wu, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “FDA is finally taking concerns about triclosan seriously. Washing your hands with soap containing triclosan doesn’t make them cleaner than using regular soap and water and can carry potential health risks.
And you know how much the NRDC cares about hand cleanliness. But no. They’re targeting triclosan for the same reason they’ve targeted dishwashing liquid that actually works. Because they’re fanatical environmentalists. And they enjoy human suffering.
Here’s what this is really about…
Most of these products get washed down the drain, where they enter our waterways and are then transported widely throughout the environment. Triclosan is one of the most frequently detected chemicals in streams across the U.S. and both triclosan and triclocarban are found in high concentrations in sediments and sewage sludge where they can persist for decades.
In the environment, antibacterial compounds could disrupt aquatic ecosystems and pose a potential risk to wildlife. Traces of triclosan have been found in earthworms from agricultural fields and Atlantic dolphins. In the lab, triclosan has been shown to interfere with development of tadpoles into frogs, a process that is dependent on thyroid hormone.
It’s all about the frogs.