The Henna Page Journal
USA FDA Rulings Threaten Henna
Catherine Cartwright Jones
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The US FDA has declared the import of henna, and its use in body art, illegal. Germany has made henna body art illegal. These rulings imperil a 9000 year old beautiful, harmless tradition that has been the celebration of life and love in one third of the world's countries! People must act NOW to overturn these rulings!

These unfortunate and unnecessary rulings have come in response to injuries caused by para-phenylenediamine by unscrupulous or ignorant street artists, who call it "black henna". It is illegal, and dangerous to use para-phenylenediamine for any purpose other than its specified use in hair dye. Published medical papers and tests prove that none of the injuries caused by "black henna" were caused by henna; ALL of the injuries have been caused by para-phenylenediamine.

The FDA rulings are reviewed late every spring. The FDA ruling against henna was made in haste, without considering its impact on henna's ethnic and religious traditions, practiced by 10,000,000 citizens of the USA, nor did it consider medical papers proving that para-phenylenediamine, not henna, was the cause of the injuries.

This spring, that ruling may be reviewed. Citizens of the USA may- petition the FDA and their elected representatives to change that ruling. If Muslims, Hindus, Afro-Americans, Sephardic Jews, henna enthusiasts, and other people do not act NOW, henna may be banned forever in the USA. Other countries may follow the lead of the US in this matter. This would have two tragic consequences: 9000 years of henna traditions would be forbidden in much of the world. "Black henna", para-phenylenediamine, would probably continue to be used, injuring people, as it would still be available as hair dye. The safe, and preferable, henna would be banned.

The FDA welcomes public input on their rulings. They state: "FDA rules have considerable impact on the nation's health, industries and economy. These rules are not created arbitrarily or in a vacuum. They are formed with the public's help." Links to petition and inform the FDA, as well as additional information to support the case for henna are in the following article.

Please help the FDA make a properly informed, reasonable ruling on henna's import and use! Read the following article, and use the FDA's forms for petitions and letters linked at the end of the article! Write to the FDA and your congressmen today! Contact the lobby groups for Muslim, Hindu, and Jewish interests. Keep henna safe and legal!

Failure to act NOW may end a 9000 years tradition!

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