Re: Dyes and the FDA...

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Posted by Angie on August 25, 2002 at 11:55:17:

In reply to: Dyes and the FDA... posted by Maureen on August 25, 2002 at 01:32:39:

: This winter, I had a shipment of henna powder from a new supplier
: was trying out that got impounded and sent back to India by the
: The person I spoke with from the FDA kept asking me what was in
: henna powder. I had not seen it because I had not received it.
So I
: kept saying...rather silly now that I think about it...that
: was in it. That it was 100% pure henna powder. The FDA person
: saying that "something" is in this and that it is not 100% henna
: powder and most certainly contained some additives and that the
: shipment was not going to gain entry because whatever was in it
: not identified by the manufacturer. I thought it was a bit crazy
: the time because I was not thinking dyes. Since then, I began
: picking up a lot of the different boxes of henna powder from my
: Indian store (just out of curiosity) and the degree of dyes in
: as well as the quality of sifting was all over the map. I don't
: think I got one that did not have some dye in it. But the degree
: dye in some of the boxes was a bit frightening. It didn't require
: microscope to see the huge green spots throughout the paste and
: they paste always remained this livid frozen green peas green.
: What it brings to mind for me is that there are some dyes that are
: approved by the FDA and there are some that are not. If I don't
: what dye is in the henna powder, then I don't know if it is an
: approved dye or not. And if it is an unapproved dye, then there
: some serious questions as to why a particular dye was not
: That to me is the tricky part about the dyes. When it comes to
: in a henna powder...well, actually, I don't want it there at
: all...But, if it is there, it is important to know what dye it is
: whether or not it is safe to use.
: And you are right. For the FDA to begin coming after henna powder
: because there are unspecified dyes in it along with all of the
: reasons they are thinking of to stop shipments could prove
: devastating.
: After purchasing those boxes from the stores, I began to wonder
: the FDA was stomping down so hard on henna powder that some of the
: online suppliers are getting in while allowing some of the henna
: powders I was finding in those boxes from off those shelves to get
: through. Especially, since I know the folks here are going to do
: everthing they can to get the best quality henna powder available
: their own use and for their customers. Some of the boxes in the
: stores had no English instructions...and clearly
: labeled for body use with pictures and all. But, over the summer
: have discovered that the FDA obviously has very big and busy
: Because the store I was getting the boxes from to test can't get
: their henna powder in from their source anymore...At least not
: now...since July. So the FDA already seems to be cutting off the
: supply for some of the small stores. I am wondering how far
: this is. I can't imagine that it is just local to Pittsburgh.
: wouldn't make much sense. But the owner of the small Indian store
: was getting those test boxes from was out of every brand of henna
: powder except some Shelly powder and paste that was so old the
: plastic wrap was yellow and the expiration dates were 1999 and
: I got brands of boxed powder from him over the months that I have
: never heard of and no one here has inquired about. One with no
: English labeling was to scary to use. It was full of debris and
: powder was more blackish than green and didn't smell like henna at
: all and the designs on the box looked black. It didn't even pass
: the "Is it henna or something else!" test.
: Anyone else checking out their local stores to see if there is a
: difference in their availability of henna powder?

I live in Tampa Bay, Fl, and when I started to even just look
for available henna in our local Indian stores, only one had any at
all ( the Mumtaz Al-Aroosa brand )...we live in an area with an
abundance of Indian stores, too. I must've called at least 10 in
this area, and then tried health food stores, beauty suppliers
( sometimes they carry henna for hair only ), and some of the
metaphysical stores that have body art no avail.
Tampa's a big town...and only one tiny store had anything at all (
and that was crap henna! geesh ). Might it be not only the additives
but also a quiet ban on Iranian imports after 9/11? I wonder.
Availability in my hometown is absolutely lacking.

: That is sort of a good news thing that could lead to bad news.
: Maureen


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