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This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

Natural fragrance watchdog Cropwatch "has no confidence" in the ability of the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) to assess the possible safety risks of tea tree oil, the group says in a Jan. 17 statement, with the tea tree oil dossier up for the committee's review Jan. 22 based on data submitted by the Australian Tea Tree Oil Industries Association in March 2007. Cropwatch cites alleged flaws in a 2004 opinion from the panel, which concludes that undiluted tea tree oil is not safe to use in commercial products, the stability of the oil in cosmetic formulations is "questionable" and that further tests to determine skin and eye irritation - among other endpoints - should be conducted. The watchdog alleges that SCCP did not take into account all available scientific evidence on tea tree oil in its report and that the predictions of adverse events from use of the oil were exaggerated. "Cropwatch calls for a review of the way that cosmetic ingredient safety is assessed by the regulator, since the existing [overly] precautionary principled approach is clearly failing the public," the group states....

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