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Monday, December 11, 2023Authorities

"Free from..." claims: an overview of the DGCCRF's 2021 controls

Allégations "Sans..." : un point de la DGCCRF sur ses contrôles 2021

In 2021, the French DGCCRF inspected 336 operators on the subject of “Free from…” and “With…” claims. With 40% of anomalies found for “Free from…” and 33% for “With…”, the DGCCRF deplores the increase in breaches of the regulations compared with 2020, and recalls the rules.

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“These findings show first and foremost that the framework surrounding claims on cosmetic products has not yet been mastered by all professionals,” the DGCCRF notes.
And while some operators seemed to be better informed than before about the framework for “Free from…” claims, many false, misleading or disparaging statements were found.

Prohibited or misleading “Free from…”

Claims such as “Paraben-free”, “Phthalate-free”, “Endocrine disruptor-free”, “Allergen-free”, as well as “No controversial substances” and “Clean formulation” were found to be contrary to regulations.

But other more serious anomalies (misleading practices or practices likely to present a risk to consumer health) have also been identified: • Presence of unlabelled allergens
• Presence of ethanol in a product claiming to be “Ethanol-free”
• Presence of odoriferous substances in products claiming to be “Fragrance-free”
• “No major allergens” claim likely to mislead the consumer by suggesting that there are minor and major allergens
• “Allergen-free” claim followed by an asterisk referring to “in the fragrance composition”
• “No unmentionable junk”, “Safe composition” and equivalent claims…

The most serious anomalies warranted corrective action in the form of compliance injunctions, and the DGCCRF warned that professionals who persist in their practices despite having been ordered to bring their …

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