The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is giving manufacturers of antibacterial hand soaps one year to prove their products are any more safe and effective than soap and water—when it comes to preventing infection and the spread of bacteria.
Under a proposed rule, manufacturers of the more than 2,000 antibacterial hand soap and body wash products currently on the market would be required to conduct clinical trials and submit data to the FDA to remain on store shelves.
In a conference call with reporters, Dr. Sandra Kweder, deputy director, Office of New Drugs, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA said:
"We at the FDA have not been provided with data to convince us they're clearly any more effective than washing with soap and water. An antibacterial soap will not prevent the common cold...we think companies ought to have data before they make those claims."
(Read more: FDA is worried about antibiotics in meat)