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I have been conducting a comprehensive review of a private company’s personal care ingredients. The company purchases about 30 ingredients from mostly Canadian suppliers and contracts out specialized cosmetic formulations to private label companies.
At first, I thought this review would be easy...find out if any of the ingredients our company purchases are genetically modified...a simple phone call to someone in the company’s quality control department.
A month later I sat in front of my desk with a pile of unanswered faxes, notes on dates of telephone calls and emails not returned. Apparently, our suppliers did not know if the ingredients they purchased and distributed were genetically modified and did not want to turn over the source and name of the manufacturer of that ingredient.
I then tried another strategy and got in touch with employees in management and though, they had no records on whether or not an ingredient was GMO, they were able to pass on the contact information of the manufacturer.
Aside from a few suppliers (that completely ignored our request and since then, are no longer our supplier) we were able to receive confirmation on the GMO status of most of our ingredients. About 7 of 30 ingredients were GMO. It took about four months to get in my hand a non-GMO certificate or statement.
From my research I found that common GMO ingredients in skin care products include: ascorbic acid, citric acid, mulberry (used to make chlorophyll), soy protein and corn syrup-based ingredients, glycerine and sorbitol. So not only should we be concerned about GMO foods, but also GMO ingredients in personal care products. Perhaps if more of us demanded this information from the companies, they would be more likely to do the research on the ingredients they purchase and distribute.
For those concerned, I recommend purchasing certified organic personal care products, as certified organic personal care manufacturers’ harvesting and processing techniques are annually inspected. There’s also a lot of paperwork that has to be continuously updated to ensure that what’s on the product label is actually in the product and that ingredients are non-GMO, not irradiated and manufactured using sustainable methods. Unfortunately, personal care product manufacturers are not regulated in Canada. So, even if you think you are making a wise consumer decision to purchase this or that product on the basis of what’s listed on the label, you are a fool...it’s a marketing matrix.
Good luck sourcing out the good people!