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Opponents call AAD Seal of Recognition program ‘a sellout of ethical principles’

Article-Opponents call AAD Seal of Recognition program ‘a sellout of ethical principles’

Schaumburg, Ill. — Some members of the American Academy of Dermatology are at odds with leadership over whether to sell the organization’s name and prestige in the form of a label seal that endorses sunscreen products, reports news source MedPage Today.

The disagreement centers around the AAD’s Seal of Recognition program, which allows sunscreen labels to bear a special seal noting that the product meets the AAD’s SPF standards — which, according to the AAD, exceed the FDA’s SPF labeling guidelines. The AAD, which has set minimum standards for acceptance and has an independent scientist evaluate applications, charges sunscreen-makers a $5,000 application fee and a $10,000 annual fee to carry the seal on their labels.

According to MedPage Today, a faction of AAD members, led by New York dermatopathologist and former AAD board member A. Bernard Ackerman, M.D., consider the seal plan “disgraceful and a sellout of ethical principles” and unworthy of a purportedly educational group. AAD leaders and members who support the seal program view it as educational, and thus proper for an academic group.

MedPage Today reports that in addition to selling its name for use on sunscreens, the AAD plans to expand the program to include other sun-protection products, including cosmetics and moisturizers, clothing, hats, laundry additives, shade structures and window films and tints.

MedPage Today also reports that one AAD member who favors the seal program dismissed Dr. Ackerman’s anti-endorsement stance and referred to Dr. Ackerman as “our [AAD] gadfly.”

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