POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Sen. Mike Lee, AOC agree on deregulating sunscreen

Aug 15, 2023, 10:49 AM | Updated: 10:50 am

man applying sunscreen, aoc wants to deregulate sunscreen...

Sam Smith applies sunscreen in Bountiful on Friday, July 21, 2017. (Kelsey Brunner/Deseret News)

(Kelsey Brunner/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY— Two of the unlikeliest of congress members agree on something that isn’t talked about very much. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, called for a change in sunscreen regulation last week, prompting a positive response from Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.

Ocasio-Cortez, known often by her initials AOC, posted a video on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Aug. 10 where she talked about deregulating sunscreen.

The FDA currently manages sunscreen as an over-the-counter drug.

In her video, AOC said the FDA’s strict standards are good in terms of safety but not in terms of making advancements, which U.S. sunscreen hasn’t really had for the last 20 or so years.

“I was in South Korea earlier this year, and it is so clear how far advanced the rest of the world is on sunscreen,” AOC said. “We deserve better here in the U.S.”

On Sunday, Lee replied to AOC’s post, thanking her for promoting the issue, and seemed to jump on board with the idea of deregulating sunscreen.

“Thanks for raising this issue. FDA seems to stretch the definition of the word “drug” beyond its actual meaning,” Lee wrote. “If the underlying statute compels this posture, Congress should consider updating the law to better reflect what should and should not be evaluated as a drug.”

 Esthetician and founder of Deux, a skincare company, Charlotte Palermino joined AOC in her video.

Palermino said the U.S. has not added another sunscreen filter to the products on its shelves since 1999.

A 2017 study looked at a set of American sunblock products, and only 55% passed European Union standards, where the government regulates sunscreen as a cosmetic item.

According to the Environmental Working Group, the EU has approved 34 filters in European sunscreen, while the U.S. has only approved 16.

AOC called on viewers to reach out to their congress members, especially those on the Energy and Commerce Committee, to cut the red tape on sunscreen regulations.

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Sen. Mike Lee, AOC agree on deregulating sunscreen