Cosmetics manufacturers: lack of information on “parfum” stinks


A report released by the David Suzuki Foundation found the majority of companies selling cosmetics and personal care products in Canada will not reveal the complete list of chemicals they use to fragrance their products. A loophole in Canada’s Cosmetic Regulations allows manufacturers to list any ingredients they add “to produce or to mask a particular odour” as the generic term “parfum.”

As many as 3,000 chemicals are used in fragrance mixtures, including phthalates, some of which are suspected endocrine disruptors. A single product can include a mixture of dozens or even hundreds of fragrance chemicals. Many of these unlisted ingredients are irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines and asthma symptoms. Synthetic musks are of particular concern; Environment Canada categorizes some of them as toxic.

Many cosmetic companies refuse to disclose their ingredients because of “proprietary rights.” We find this unacceptable. What about the consumer’s right to know what they’re putting on their body? Take a stand against the cosmetics industry. Ask manufacturers to disclose their ingredients today:

We the undersigned consumers call on manufacturers of cosmetics sold in Canada to voluntarily:

  1. Support revisions to Canada’s Cosmetic Regulations to strengthen the labelling provisions for fragrance ingredients.
  2. Lead by example by disclosing complete lists of fragrance ingredients used in their products.
  3. Ensure that products marketed as “unscented” or “fragrance-free” be truly free of fragrance chemicals.

From the David Suzki Foundation,

Probiotics support good health


In the past decade, probiotics have become increasingly popular in Canada, but many consumers still don’t fully understand what probiotics are and what effects they have on the body. The term “probiotics” describes micro-organisms or other agents that support healthy flora in the human gastrointestinal tract. Healthy flora help digest food, maintain the intestinal endothelium, inhibit pathogens or perform other useful functions. There is abundant research on the physiological effects of foods or supplements that contain probiotics, specifically on the use of certain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains, as well as the yeast Saccharomyces boulardii. Human clinical research on probiotics has mostly focused on gastrointestinal conditions. Some clinical studies have shown an intriguing effect of probiotics on immune function.

The benefits

Diarrhea secondary to pediatric viral infections, antibiotic therapy or foreign travel has been prevented or reduced in severity in numerous controlled trials.

Four out of five double-blind studies reported benefits to sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome. Some success has also been reported in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Some studies have looked at the effect of probiotics on the immune system and are showing positive reports.

Which foods or supplements contain probiotics?

Probiotics appear to be safe and promising dietary supplements. While several foods, such as yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut contain probiotic organisms, their strains may be quite different and in much lower concentrations compared with the supplements employed in clinical trials. Research has yet to show whether certain strains are superior to others and what the optimal daily intake should be for treatment and prevention of various diseases. The doses used in studies ranged from two billion to several hundred billion colony-forming units per day.

For more information on health and safety, visit the Ontario Chiropractic Association website at or call 877-327-2273.

photo © Mikhail Laptev

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