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HOW RELEVANT IS LABELLING FOR ALLERGIC CONSUMERS?

 

picture of woman with allergic reaction11 OCTOBER 2018
INAUGURAL LONDON LECTURE

Venue **MUSEUM OF BRANDS, NOTTING HILL, LONDON

Time 6.30pm for 7pm start

HOW RELEVANT IS LABELLING FOR ALLERGIC CONSUMERS?

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Speaker Rachel Ward (Rachel Ward Consulting Ltd)

Synopsis Consumers sensitised to various substances have only one option to prevent adverse reactions – avoidance. Allergic reactions can be elicited following dermal, respiratory or oral exposure to the allergen to which they are sensitised, leading to a variety of adverse reactions from hives, swelling, eczema, wheezing, vomiting, abdominal pain, and even in severe cases to life-threatening anaphylaxis. Effective avoidance is dependent upon clear and meaningful risk communication at point of purchase and use. Inability to successfully avoid adverse reactions not only impacts consumer health and well-being but also creates a lack of confidence in a brand/product. The accompanying psychological and social dimensions of living with allergy considerably impacts consumers’ quality of life. Estimates suggest that 1-2% of the adult population and 5-8% of children in the UK have food allergy, and >20% of the UK population affected by one or more allergic disease. This is a significant segment of the UK population with particular risk management needs that need to be addressed by consumer goods manufacturers and retailers. Strategies for minimising exposure to known allergens and for provision of meaningful risk communication to avoid eliciting adverse reactions appear poorly aligned between the food and cosmetics/personal care industries. The consumer and their allergy are the same, but the allergen information provided on cosmetic/personal care products is unclear for the food allergic consumer, and current formulation strategies and choice of ingredients do not appear to consider the potential impact on consumers sensitised to food allergens. Integrating food allergic consumers as an at-risk group into cosmetic risk assessment and cosmetovigilance, and aligning risk communication terminology should improve their quality of life.

Biography  Dr Rachel Ward has more than 25 years’ experience in international strategy and standards for the food chain, covering emerging issues, contaminants and residues, food allergens, labelling and claims to ensure effective consumer risk protection and robust regulatory compliance. Rachel has BSc (Hons) in Applied Biochemistry, a PhD from Nottingham University in in vitro skin toxicology models, and a wide experience in regulatory affairs and quality assurance. She was the lead risk manager for PepsiCo Europe on food, promotional toys, and novel ingredients, and since becoming an independent consultant 7 years ago has worked on various food and food supplements regulatory and QA projects for SME, larger manufacturers and UK retailers. Rachel has a strong interest in food allergen risk management and regularly provides training to industry.

 


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