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PERSONAL CARE TRUTH RESPONDS TO COSMETICS BILL H.R. 2359: SAFE COSMETICS ACT OF 2011

July 12, 2011

SALUDA, SC – Personal Care Truth, a group of independent cosmetic business owners who represent the interests of the cosmetic industry as a whole, today shared its response to H.R. 2359: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, a bill recently introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), and Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), to address what it believes to be misinformation included in the bill.

Personal Care Truth believes the bill holds universal flaws that could impact the entire cosmetics industry, including large and small businesses.  While Personal Care Truth is pleased that Congress is taking a proactive approach at looking at the cosmetics industry, there are several concerning issues in the bill, including:

·         Label Confusion: The bill shows no exceptions for contaminants that occur in nature and appear in botanicals.  The process of labeling all components and contaminants of each ingredient will be nearly impossible.

·         International Confusion: This bill pertains to US-made cosmetics only, causing a serious divide in the international cosmetics industry.

·         Aromatherapy:   The required labeling information will make it very difficult to recognize the sole essential oils used versus the constituents and contaminants involved.

·         Authoritative Source: The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel is the authoritative voice on this issue and was not consulted for this bill.

·         Duplication of Registration: In Section 619 of the bill, the manufacturer and distributor of a cosmetic are required to have a registration number, causing additional layers of unnecessary bureaucracy that will ultimately increase costs for consumers.

·         Enhanced Business Risks: In Section 620, any person believing that a cosmetic is adulterated or misbranded has the right to turn the company into the Secretary, opening up businesses to frivolous lawsuits for personal gain.

·         Adverse Health Effects: This term is not appropriately defined in the bill.  Small allergic reactions could then be considered adverse health effects, which would be nearly impossible to avoid in every cosmetic user.

 

“Personal Care Truth opposes the H.R. 2359: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 because it is unworkable, far reaching, and will do absolutely nothing to make cosmetics safer than they already are,” said Lisa Rodgers, co-founder of Personal Care Truth.  “We support safe cosmetics and certainly believe the FDA could use more transparency; however, we should be focusing on improving current legislation instead of completely changing it to serve the goals of non-governmental organizations that have yet to present the science to support their claims.”

Personal Care Truth believes there will be significant impacts from the H.R. 2359: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 on small businesses, including the high costs of complying with the bill requirements.  What’s more, due to the differences in regulation, consumers could wrongly get the impression that larger cosmetics companies are safer than small businesses, soapers and crafters.  All businesses will also be required to disclose their supply sources to the government, opening their business up to sharing trade and product secrets.

The H.R. 2359: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 also calls for intensive pre-market testing, a major barrier to entry for small businesses and cost-prohibitive to current small cosmetics companies.  In addition, all Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) will be required to be available in various languages, again bringing unnecessary costs to the small business.

“I am in 100% support of safe cosmetics, but not the proposed bill (HR 2359)
as written,” said Kristin Fraser Cotte, co-founder of Personal Care Truth.  “Targeting an industry with a proven track record of safety with unrealistic and unnecessary regulations will cost an incredible amount to implement, which we will all end up paying the price for when we go to purchase daily personal care necessities like soap.”

To oppose the H.R. 2359: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, please sign the petition entitled Oppose H.R. 2359: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/no-2-sca-2011/ and follow #no2sca on Twitter.

Please see the attached documents for additional thoughts on the H.R. 2359: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 from esteemed members of the personal care industry.

To learn more about Personal Care Truth, please visit www.personalcaretruth.  Or follow us at @prsnalcaretruth, and on LinkedIn and Facebook – key words Personal Care Truth.

 

About Lisa M. Rodgers

Lisa M. Rodgers serves as CEO and Founder of Cactus & Ivy, and has recently taken a more active role as Co-Founder of Personal Care Truth.

About Kristin Fraser Cotte
Kristin Fraser Cotte is the CEO and Founder of The Grapeseed Company – creating premium eco-friendly skin and personal care from locally grown, certified organic and natural ingredients.

# # #

 

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS ON THE BILL FROM INDUSTRY LEADERS

Robert Tisserand

Bio available – http://personalcaretruth.com/experts/robert-tisserand/

 

“The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 may be well intentioned (who doesn’t want safe cosmetics?), but it is most certainly naïve and impractical. It bears little resemblance to cosmetics legislation in other countries or regions and would be massively expensive to implement. In fact, as currently written, it would be the end of the US cosmetics industry, since the safety requirements could not be met by any product or substance known to mankind. There’s no point in cutting out the tumor if you kill the patient while doing so.”

 

Cindy Jones, Ph.D.

Bio available – http://personalcaretruth.com/experts/cindy-jones/

 

“As a small scale manufacturer of cosmetics and a former cancer research
scientist, safe cosmetics are a must to me, but this bill will not lead to
safer cosmetics.  We first need compliance with current FDA requirements
and with the Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act. Enforcement of these alone would greatly benefit the industry and the consumer. Then we need science-based legislation and research to verify safety of cosmetics, not knee-jerk reactions and scare tactics.

“Rep. Schakowsky states that there are a ‘growing number of reports of
serious health problems arising from the use of dangerous chemicals in
personal care products.’ I would like to know what reports she is
referring to, because I am not aware of any credible reports and I would be very interested in reading them.

“The exclusion of small businesses from registering with the FDA will be
devastating to small business. All sized businesses need two-way
communications with the FDA to get timely information on potential
toxicities of ingredients and to be able to report adverse reactions to
cosmetics.”

 

Kayla Fioravanti

Bio available – http://personalcaretruth.com/experts/kayla-fioravanti/

 

“My entire life from the womb through this year has been shadowed by my mother’s cancer. In the womb, I shared her body with cancer, and just this year she lost her battle that spanned my lifetime. If there was one shred of scientific proof that cosmetics caused cancer, I would be championing living a cosmetic-free life by choice but never by government regulation. The Safe Cosmetics Act is over-reaching, unnecessary and ill-conceived. It will do absolutely nothing to make safe cosmetics any safer but will destroy small businesses, despite the exemption from fees and registration.”

 

Perry Romanowski

Bio available- http://personalcaretruth.com/experts/perry-romanowski/

{In

reference to the quote above from Schakowsky’s office.}

 

“I read a claim like this and immediately a few questions occur.

1.  To which serious health problems are they referring?
2.  What evidence connects these health problems to personal care products?
3.  Where can someone find these reports?  What agency is keeping track?
“The incidences of most cancers are decreasing in the US and the population continues to get healthier.  Life expectancy continues to increase.  Where is the evidence that demonstrates the harm of personal care products?

“Regulations should be enacted to solve problems.  If new regulations would be completely enacted, what benefit would anyone notice?
Until someone can demonstrate a problem with cosmetic products it makes little sense to enact new legislation that will cost more time and money.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2011 1:07 am

    Health care reform law sets up a nonprofit independent board with a $200 million budget to study which drugs and which treatments are effective, because pharmaceutical companies find such testing too expensive to conduct themselves.

    But this bill would require similar tests for cosmetics. Drug manufacturers can’t afford it, but cosmetics manufacturers are expected to. That makes no sense to me.

    I believe the government should set up a similar nonprofit independent board to study which cosmetic ingredients are safe, which are effective, and which are hazardous, toxic or contribute to air and water pollution.

    I believe EVERY business – from the crafter selling at the local farmers market to the largest international corporation should register with the FDA; identifying what products they sell and mandating that any complaints such as allergic reaction or injuries be reported.

    I believe EVERY business – from the crafter selling at the local farmers market to the largest international corporation should pay a fee on a sliding scale, and these fees go toward funding this independent board to study cosmetic chemicals and finished products.

    I believe the results of the boards work should be available to everyone, businesses and consumers alike.

    I believe INCI ingredient labeling should be clearly mandated by FDA and FTC regulations and warning letters sent to companies who violate the regulation.

    I believe the current regulations for identifying whether a product is soap, a cosmetic or a drug should be enforced; (I could personally send about a hundred warning letters in a week!)

    I believe the current regulations for colorants should be enforced; there are very few actual ingredient regulations in place right now and there is no excuse for the FDA not policing all the companies selling products colored with fruits, vegetables and other ingredients that violate this law.

    I believe the current regulations for OTC drugs should be enforced for the companies, especially those selling illegal hand sanitizers; but I also believe that someone should conduct extensive testing on the essential oil based products and consider whether they do work and if so, issue a FDA monograph for governing their use.

    I believe testing for bacterial, fungal and yeast contamination should be mandatory not just suggested.

    I also believe every formula should be required to be tested for safe shelf life and make sure that the formulations preservation method actually works. Right now, this is not mandatory.

    I also believe product liability insurance should be mandatory before anyone is allowed to sell cosmetics.

    I strongly Oppose the “Safe” Cosmetics Act 2011.

    Susan Sawhill Apito
    Former Secretary, Treasurer and Office Manager of the Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild.
    Founder and former owner, Botanical Elements Trade Association.
    Founder and former owner, Natural Ingredient Resource Center.
    Mother, wife and consumer.

    http://apitoblogs.com/

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink
      July 13, 2011 2:19 pm

      Thank you so much for outlining your thoughts. I believe that they have merit and agree that if laws are passed to make things safer for people then the size of the company should only be relevent in determining their financial liability. It makes no sense that small business doesn’t have to comply. Thanks again Susan and good luck with your soaping.

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