August 15, 2016 — Guthy-Renker has offered up to $20,000 to individuals who claim WEN Cleansing Conditioner caused hair loss or permanent baldness.
In a “business decision,” Guthy-Renker agreed to a $26.25 million settlement that would provide up to $25 to every person who bought WEN products since it was introduced.
The class action settlement (PDF) was proposed in June and filed in the U.S. District Court for Central California, but still has not been approved by a federal court judge. Guthy-Renker is accused of ignoring thousands of complaints.
Last month, the FDA said it was investigating reports of hair loss, hair breakage, baldness, and skin reactions from WEN products. The FDA has received 127 adverse event reports and discovered another 21,000 complaints during an inspection.
Guthy-Renker is now aggressively lobbying Congress to block a new law that would toughen FDA oversight of the cosmetics industry, according to the New York Times.
Under the current law, cosmetics-makers do not have to tell the government of any “adverse events” — even if someone dies.
The Feinstein-Collins bill would require cosmetics-makers to report “serious adverse” reactions and create an annual report of all “adverse events.” It would also give the FDA power to recall products that are found to be dangerous.