August 15, 2016 — Consumers who went bald after using WEN Cleansing Conditioner could be eligible for up to $20,000 as part of a proposed $25 million class action lawsuit settlement.
A federal court judge has not yet approved the settlement (PDF), which was filed on June 28 by Guthy-Renker. It would also provide a $25 cash payment to every person who bought WEN products.
Guthy-Renker is accused of ignoring thousands of complaints and continuing to sell a product that was known to cause baldness.
The FDA is investigating reports of hair breakage, hair loss, baldness, and itchy skin reactions. The agency has received over 127 complaints about WEN as of mid-July. Inspectors also discovered more than 21,000 complaints that were never reported.
Meanwhile, Guthy-Renker is aggressively opposing a new law that would enhance FDA oversight, according to the New York Times.
Under the current law, cosmetics-makers do not have to tell the government about any adverse reactions — even if someone dies. The FDA also does not have the power to force a company to recall a cosmetic product.
The Feinstein-Collins bill would require cosmetics-makers to tell the FDA about “serious adverse” reactions and create an annual report of all “adverse events.” The FDA would also begin testing the safety of 5 ingredients per year that are suspected of causing problems.