This is what the FDA calls a crackdown???

In case you haven’t heard, antibacterial soap could be on its way off the market. And not a moment too soon, I might add.

In fact, if you ask me, this development is way overdue. But then, that’s typical of the FDA isn’t it?

Just a couple of weeks ago, this agency released a statement proposing that manufacturers of antibacterial soaps will now have to prove that their products are actually more effective than plain soap. Which should be a challenge, seeing as how there is currently no evidence that this is the case.

Manufacturers will also have to prove that these soaps are safe. Which will also be tough, considering numerous reports that certain ingredients–like triclosan (in liquid soap) and triclocarban (in bar soap)–pose serious health risks like antibiotic resistance and hormone disruption.

This is good news, of course. Though I can’t help but shake my head at the timing.

years after I started kicking up a fuss. Not to mention it could be a many more years before any real bans actually take effect. (Sound familiar? It should.)

I mean, the FDA is actually acknowledging that not only do these soaps not work, but they also actively cause harm with long term use. And yet they’re still taking time to “collect additional information?”

Honestly. What more do they need? Why aren’t these toxic products being pulled from shelves immediately?

Oh, right. To accommodate the manufacturers. Is it just me, or is anyone else having a serious bout of déjà vu?

On the bright side, I can’t think of a better time for this topic to be making headlines. It’s flu season, after all. And regular hand washing–with plain old soap (not the souped-up “antibacterial” varieties) and water–is by far the simplest way to avoid getting sick.

Rayman, Noah. “FDA questions antibacterial soap claims.” Time. 16 Dec 2013.