Women's Lipstick - Made
With Cow Brains

What's New
Here's the bad news: Cow brains may be an ingredient in your lipstick. The good news? The FDA is banning it. The Food and Drug Administration has told cosmetics makers they can no longer use brain and spinal cord tissue from older cattle in lipstick, hair sprays, and other products, reports The Associated Press. The fact that they were used at all will likely surprise millions of women who use these products daily. And that's not the only surprise: The new FDA regulations still allow use of these animal tissues in cosmetics as long as they come from younger cattle.
The ban on cow brains and spinal cord tissue from cosmetics is aimed at preventing a fatal human variant of mad cow disease, called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, from reaching people. Also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, mad cow disease causes the brains of infected animals to waste away. There is no cure for animals or humans. "While the risk is small, if there does happen to be an ingredient from a BSE-infected cow, the consequences would be incredibly drastic," Rachel Weintraub, assistant general counsel of the Consumer Federation of America, told AP. She noted, for example, that sprays could contain animal protein that could be inhaled.
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WASHINGTON (AP) - Closing loopholes in protections against mad cow disease, the Food and Drug Administration yesterday banned brains and other cattle parts that could carry the disease's infectious agent from use in cosmetics and dietary supplements.
The action puts the agency's restrictions in line with those issued by the Department of Agriculture to keep those cattle parts out of meat after the brain-wasting disease was found in December in a Holstein cow in Washington state.
The ban affects products made from animals 30 months of age and older, the age in which the government has said the brain-wasting disease can be found. The restrictions prohibit the use of the brain and spinal cord, where the misshapen proteins blamed for mad cow disease are considered most likely to be found.
The banned parts from the older animals also include skulls, eyes and nervous system tissue close to the spinal cord.
However, the use of tallow, a processed fat made from cattle, will still be allowed provided it carries less than 0.15 percent impurities, which could include proteins. Tallow is used in cosmetics, but FDA has said the high heat and pressure used to make it should minimize any risk of having mad cow infectious agent in tallow.
Also banned in cosmetics is any material from cattle that cannot stand on their own. Since January, those animals cannot be used for meat, but they can be sent to rendering plants, which produce tallow.
The FDA directed manufacturers and processors that use prohibited cattle parts to immediately switch to alternative ingredients.
Mad cow disease is also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE. People who eat meat containing the proteins, known as prions, face a risk of contracting a rare but fatal human condition, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



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