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February 26, 2007

Strange What Can Be Found on the Internet

Strange what can be found on the Internet. Here’s a little piece from a recent IFRA Newsletter. which quotes a piece from Claire Thévenin’s article “Strategic switch for IFRA” from the excellent trade magazine (in my value judgment)  Parfums Cosmétiques Actualités:. As you can read for yourselves, Thévenin alludes to an “ambitious communication campaign and research programs that IFRA has put in place and is implementing” and she refers to 5 five distinct communication targets: the media, the industry’s clients, legislators, NGOs and the association’s members.

However it is Jean-Pierre Houri’s alleged remarks (Houri is IFRA Director General) that are especially illuminating. Aside from pointing out that RIFM’s budget is now USD 8 million (that’s an awful lot of corporate subsidy, says Cropwatch, whose USD budget is zero!), Houri is quoted as saying “IFRA does not consider the general public as being a target for IFRA.” Houri further states  that  “the brands need to speak to their consumers while IFRA concentrates on journalists, and supplying them with information that will then passed on to the public.”

We have already seen how obedient industry journalists & editors (with some brave & notable exceptions) have reported IFRA’s version of events over the Cropwatch Boycott of the 40th IFRA Amendment, so the public relations strategy described above is presumably working well for them. However excluding the general public, as Houri describes above, or selling them IFRA’s precautionary-principled propaganda via journalists loyal to IFRA, is dangerous for democracy, as it effectively disengages & disenfranchises the public and removes the opportunity for direct debate. The general public are, after all, the end-users of the fragranced products, and these people as consumers have the right to make their own opinions and to be able to have a say in the cosmetics regulatory process. 

Tony Burfield

Posted for Tony by Blogmistress

Posted by Blogmistress on February 26, 2007 in Regulatory Issues | Permalink

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