• Zalina Zakaria

Student thesis: Phd


The need for product safety regulation is no longer a source of debate. It should be the primary aim in any consumer protection policy. This is due to the fact that there are a lot of consumer goods that are heterogeneous and more technologically advanced that are continually being introduced to consumers. Cosmetic products are currently one of the most popular consumer products. Their increase in sales is evident globally including in developing countries. They are no longer solely associated with women but are being used by all people, of all ages. With such popularity, cosmetics producers are eager to make a profit, which sometimes has resulted in the introduction of cosmetics which are not safe and cause adverse effects. This suggests that there might be a loophole in the adequacy of the safety laws or regulations. The possibility of these safety issues occurring anywhere is generally acknowledged, which makes it a global issue. Although such cases are not as frequent as for other consumer goods such as foods or pharmaceuticals, there is a need to investigate the cosmetics safety mechanisms in order to see if consumers are adequately protected and if the safety mechanisms for cosmetics are efficient. In realising this aim, the study takes three jurisdictions to compare, namely the EU, the USA and Malaysia. Through analysis, the ideal features of cosmetics regulations based on the larger picture of safety regulation generally are also considered. This study contrasts the EU and Malaysia, that have in place government regulation of cosmetics, with the USA that has a different regime for cosmetics, more dependent on self-regulation. Out of the three, Malaysia is the newest country that has introduced a new law on cosmetic products and this has been adopted from the EU model. Although discussions on cosmetic regulations have been undertaken in Malaysia, the legal safety issues to which they give rise have not been investigated systematically in comparison with the EU and the USA. Even in these jurisdictions cosmetics safety is not discussed as much as other consumer products. This thesis also investigates why Malaysia has adopted the EU policy and not some other policy such as the American one. Once the above issues have been considered, the impact of the new emerging technology of nano-cosmetics is analysed. The thesis found that, Malaysia, as with any newly introduced system, has experienced some setbacks and encountered teething problems due to a lack of resources, structure, technical facilities and qualified personnel. However, as a developing nation, it certainly has benefited from the adoption of the EU system. Although there is still much room for improvement, this borrowing has benefited consumers, in so far as safety is concerned, because of the common and standard safety assessments and the responsibility of safety now being placed on the manufacturers. Consumers can also enjoy more products due to the elimination of trade barriers through free movement and cooperation between member states
Date of Award1 Aug 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorGeraint Howells (Supervisor) & Annette Nordhausen Scholes (Supervisor)


  • cosmetic safety regululation
  • product safety regulation

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