More and more people seem to believe there is a big conspiracy between the FDA, the government, and the cosmetics industry to sell shoppers toxic skin care products. Chances are good that these people have read some of the articles from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an organization whose stated purpose is " uses the power of information to protect public health and the environment." Press release, top ten lists, announcements, chain emails and Facebook eCards from the EWG are copied and pasted and passed around the web without fact checking by all-natural websites, organic websites, liberal news sites and chumps on Facebook.
"The Story of Cosmetics" More Histrionic Than History
I fell prey to EWG propaganda a few years ago when someone sent me a link to the video "The Story of Cosmetics," a video with ties to and promoted by the EWG which left me slack-jawed in horror: TOXIC INGREDIENTS!!! NO REGULATIONS!!! I posted the link and a couple of articles. Then I did my research. I was embarrassed to discover I had been duped so easily. The entire video was cherry picked history, misinformation, half-truths and deliberate falsehoods.1
Environmental Working Group
The EWG has a long and shady history of distorting facts, twisting truths and telling blatant lies. Heavily funded by a Who's Who of liberal leaders and organizations, the EWG has a definite agenda -- to promote certain liberal causes and undermine established safety protocols to make more money from their deep-pocket donors and from frightened consumers.
Forget Sex! FEAR Sells
The tactic they rely upon the most (besides misinformation) is FEAR. Why? Because facts rely on reason and fear relies on feelings. We are much more attached to our feelings than we are to cold hard facts. If groups like the EWG can scare consumers enough, people will stop buying cosmetic products the EWG says are bad and they will buy only the ones the EWG says are good. Consumers will be bombarded with the spun misinformation by every "Holistic Mary" and "All-Natural Alice" website out there.
These horrified consumers will want to stop skin care companies from using these "toxic" ingredients, so they will donate to the EWG's valiant efforts to halt the use of the cosmetics ingredients the EWG says are toxic. It doesn't matter that the majority of other independent studies and experts disagree with the EWG's conclusions--the EWG is louder with a better spin machine than all the other experts put together, and they have raised millions of dollars through fear mongering.2
False Studies & Faulty Science
The EWG convinced America parabens were toxic based upon a "study" of only 20 teenagers. And they didn't document where the parabens came from--from food or cosmetics or if the girls were harmed by the parabens -- they simply announced to the world that American teenage girls are "contaminated" with parabens from cosmetics.3 They have heavily pushed and endorsed the faulty notion that skin care products must be "all natural" and "organic" to be healthy.4
Autism and Vaccines Scare
This is the same shameless group that convinced half the country that measles vaccines cause autism, because they rabidly promoted a paper published in the Lancet in spite of hundreds of well-researched and well-documented professional studies by a variety of independent medical experts that said otherwise. The Lancet finally published a retraction years after the damage had been done and the British doctor in charge of the study lost his license for misconduct.5 Fear sells, and it raises donations while it raises visibility.
Environmental Working Group: Skin Deep & More
It is important to note that the EWG owns several popular sites like Skin Deep, so they can conduct biased "research" or find an obscure article that supports their stance on ingredients, rate skin care ingredients on Skin Deep with very arbitrary numbers based upon faulty science6 and then back it up as the EWG and vice versa. The story is then circulated by the Clearinghouse for Environmental Advocacy and Research which just happens to be owned by the EWG. And let's not forget about the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics7, also part of the EWG and also trumpeting the same EWG propaganda. From there it is just a hop, skip and a jump into the mainstream media which doesn't want to overlook these big "news stories." It doesn't hurt that the mainstream media has a decidedly liberal bent at times.
Since the same misinformation will be copied and pasted so many places, consumers aren't tempted to do any research to check the facts. For one thing, they won't "feel" like it because their feelings are already invested in all that fear and suspicion.
Environmental Working Group: Tides Foundation Ties
Funded by and obligated to its liberal grant donors, the EWG also engages in aggressive eco-lobbying to support its questionable causes. It gets worse. The EWG and its subsidiaries have operated under and continue in a relationship with the Tides Foundation8, a large multi-tentacled, left-leaning, secretive tax exempt organization which funnels money from anonymous donors to pay for their often radical liberal causes. The management fees for more than 250 Tides Donor Advices Projects go back go to the Tides Foundation. Meanwhile, the IRS tax exemption of Tides Foundation keeps their donors, income, assets and expenditures hidden from public inspection.
So, if you as a consumer have heard about a big toxic skin care and cosmetics conspiracy, you just found it. "Story of Cosmetics" > Campaign for Safe Cosmetics > Skin Deep > Clearinghouse for Environmental Advocacy and Research > Environmental Working Group > Tides Foundation > Advancement of liberal agendas through fear mongering at the expense of inconveniences like science, facts, reason and truth.
Hey, Chicken Little. Take off your tinfoil hat. Maybe the sky isn't falling and your cosmetics aren't toxic after all.
- Examiner.com - Cosmetics Industry-Cosmetic-Toiletry-Fragrance Association Address Consumer Cosmetic Concerns
- SkinHealthBeauty - The TOXIC Truth about the Environmental Working Group
- ActivistFacts.com - Environmental Working Group
- SkinHealthBeauty.com - Why All Natural-Organic Ingredients Are NOT Better for Skin
- Autism study doctor barred for 'serious misconduct'
- PersonalCareTruth.com - Skin Deep--Scratching Below the Surface/
- Consumer Freedom - 5 Things You Didn't Know About the Environmental Working Group
- Undue Influence.com - EWG
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