Cropwatch Newsletter 4 - Red Alert Issue

§3. Tea Tree Oil Update.


We understand from usually reliable sources, that time extension to submit a dossier of evidence supporting the contention that tea tree oil is safe in cosmetics has been granted in writing by the EC Enterprise & Industry Directorate-General for Consumer Goods to an interested party, the new time limit being set at March 2007. Unfortunately Cropwatch has not been similarly advised that the data on end-user adverse reactions that we were going to submit in June 2006, can now be held back until 2007.  We have however seen a pre-publication copy of an article by Dietrich Wabner of NORA on tea tree oil and adverse effects, which has been submitted for consideration to the International Journal of Aromatherapy. We very much hope that the publisher will make this latter article freely available in the public interest.


Cropwatch expects its’ findings to eventually show that if stored properly in dark glass bottles & used fresh, tea tree oil is a safe cosmetic ingredient. The conclusions that the SCCP came to in their Opinion SCCP/0843/04 regarding the safety and stability of tea tree oil seem to have been as a result of the committee not carrying out a proper literature search, not reading the published papers properly which they identified as being relevant, and being insufficiently expert to judge the issue overall.  Further, because we (Cropwatch) are independent, we can also supply facts that oil trade associations probably will not. Specifically, we can reveal that deliberately oxidised tea tree oil has been misguidedly marketed to some tea tree oil user categories. The effect of this on the overall TTO adverse reaction situation may be minor overall (we are still assessing this), but may be more significant to specific minor user groups.


Meanwhile we are going at our own pace in collecting further end-user data on adverse effects of tea tree oil – and since questionnaires kept trickling in (see the on-line form at, we are still keeping the doors open at present. Keep ‘em coming!


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