FDA delays deadline for new U.S. sunscreen labels

WASHINGTON Wed May 16, 2012 1:12am IST

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has delayed by six months rules on the marketing of sunscreen originally set to go into effect this summer, saying the extra time was needed to avoid supply shortages.

The FDA last year ordered sunscreen manufacturers to make a host of changes by June to sunscreen labels that would better explain how consumers should use the products.

After complaints from major trade associations that companies were having trouble making the changes, the agency late last week extended the deadline to December. Smaller companies have until December 2013.

"We're thinking proactively here... we don't want them to cease making sunscreens available this summer because they don't think they'll be able to meet the compliance date," said Shelly Burgess, a spokeswoman for the agency.

The FDA had updated prior rules on sunscreen which dealt only with protection against ultraviolet B radiation but not ultraviolet A rays, which contribute to skin cancer and early skin aging. Sunburn is primarily caused by UVB radiation.

Now sunscreen makers would be required to pass a test by the agency to prove the product protects against both types of rays before labeling sunscreens as providing "Broad Spectrum" protection. Of those that pass, only sunscreens with a "sun protection factor" or SPF, of 15 or higher can claim to reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging.

Sunscreen products that don't pass the test or have passed but have an SPF between 2 to 14 can only claim to help prevent sunburn.

Under the new rules, manufacturers also cannot call their sunscreens "water proof" or "sweat proof," but only say that they are water or sweat resistant.

Sunscreen makers also cannot claim to provide protection for more than two hours without reapplication or to provide "instant protection" without submitting data to prove that to the FDA.

Burgess said that some sunscreens with revised labels were already in the market but that the agency did not know how many.

(Reporting By Lily Kuo; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Eric Walsh)

FILED UNDER:
Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Ebola Outbreak

Reuters Showcase

RK Laxman Dead

RK Laxman Dead

'Common Man' cartoonist RK Laxman dead at 93  Full Article 

Nuclear Group

Nuclear Group

China urges India to take steps to satisfy standards of NSG  Full Article 

India’s Male Tenor

India’s Male Tenor

India’s lone male tenor wants to ‘Indianise’ opera  Full Article 

Facebook Outage

Facebook Outage

Hacker group claims it is behind outages at Facebook, other sites  Full Article 

U.S. Blizzard

U.S. Blizzard

`Life-threatening' blizzard shuts down much of U.S. Northeast  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Berdych ends Nadal tyranny on day of shocks  Full Article 

Fashionable Modi

Fashionable Modi

When Modi met Obama, his name was all over - his suit  Full Article 

Photo

Auschwitz Anniversary

Last survivors recall Auschwitz, ask if lessons learned  Full Article | Related Story 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage