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Best Practices – Product Stewardship in the Consumer Products Industry

SciPinion Collective Wisdom Report

A leading consumer products company needed to know if they were doing everything they could to prevent product contamination and assure product safety. SciPinion assembled a panel of experts and former directors of product safety from companies in the same sector to provide input on best practices. The results provide an exhaustive summary of Best Practices of product safety and monitoring for the consumer product industry. You may download the full report here.

In summary, the best practices identified by the SciPinion panel were as follows:

  1. Corporate commitment.  First and foremost is a commitment of the corporation to value product safety.  This commitment should be embraced from the top to the bottom of your corporation.
  2. Set residual limits.  Each product should have a risk assessment conducted to determine what residuals of contaminants still provide for product safety.  This can include a formal quantitative risk assessment or GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) assessment.  This should be documented and stored for easy retrieval.
  3. Test and assure residual levels meet standards.  Companies should work with their suppliers to assure that there is some form of regular monitoring for residuals.  The potential hazard of the compounds should dictate the frequency (e.g., each batch, each month, random sample, etc.) of testing by the suppliers.  Suppliers should be required to provide Certificates of Analysis (CofA) as part of this monitoring program.
  4. Companies should independently verify residuals.  Companies should conduct some form of independent verification of supplier’s products.  This can be done either in house or using third party laboratories.
  5. Companies should implement post market surveillance measures. This can be done either in-house or using third party contractors. 
  6. Companies should aggressively defend their science.  When attacks on the safety of products come from the public, companies should rapidly defend their products.  If all of the above measures are in place and well documented, company public affairs departments will be able to immediately defend the company’s products.  The sooner a complaint or attack is dealt with, the less likely the news will linger and damage the corporate brand(s).
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