All natural lies

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ACSH staffers are generally disinclined to dignify frivolous Internet gossip with recognition, but in the case of a natural cosmetics peddler s recent blog post attacking synthetic chemicals in cosmetics, which has been getting some undeserved attention, we figured we d point a few things out before it gets out of hand. This shouldn t be too surprising. She s a salesperson for natural cosmetics, so she has to spread rumors to sell her products, says ACSH s Jeff Stier.

You can tell it s illegitimate for many reasons, but one is that she cites the increasing cancer rates. She just made that up, notes ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross. These people think they can get away with saying anything, no matter how false or misleading. Any scientist who has read medical literature knows that cancer rates are going down. Even when we did go through a cancer epidemic from the 1950s until the 1990s, that was almost entirely attributable to smoking -- which is also on the decline in the U.S., at last. In fact, her entire list is misleading. None of the chemicals she mentions have been found to be harmful to humans in the amounts present in cosmetics, and these have been used in these products for decades without any reliable record of health effects, says Dr. Ross.

ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava reminds us that medical advice should be left to credible medical professionals: Be careful about believing what you read on the Internet. Anyone can write anything they want. For further reference: ACSH s report on the safety of cosmetics.