FDA Wants Antibacterial Soap to Prove Effectiveness

Government wants proof antibacterial soap works in stopping the spread of germs and illnesses.
3:00 | 12/16/13

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Transcript for FDA Wants Antibacterial Soap to Prove Effectiveness
news, new york. A controversy, some questions about something millions of us have at home an the sink. Antibacterial soaps and body washes. Tonight the fda has issued a kind of challenge and here's abc's chief medical editor dr. Richard besser. Reporter: It is a warning shot -- to makers of antibacterial soap who claim their products kill more germs. The government now saying they're going to have to prove the soap actually prevents more infections. Most studies say both antibacterial and regular soap work equally well at killing germs right away. Watch our unscientific test at the university of maryland. We covered some hands in a brew of thousands of e.Coli bacteria. The hands were then washed with regular soap and antibacterial soap. The antibacterial soap erased 75% of the bacteria. The regular soap? 75% as well. No immediate difference. The fda is concerned. Could antibacterial soaps contribute to outside resistance. They are perplexed that the fda would suggest that antibiotic soaps are not beneficial. There is a big move by the fda. There are health and environmental groups calling for this for quite some time. It may mark the beginning of the end. When will we know the ultimate answer, rich? Assuming the regulation is approved and there are 180 days from that, the companies are going to have a year from today to make their case. They're going to have to change the product or change the label. Washing with soap and water for 20 seconds is the best way to go. Thank you, rich for reporting tonight. Next here, beating the odds, the mega jackpot, the lottery

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