Support the Safe Cosmetics Act

The current cosmetics industry is outdated and dangerous. The industry is not properly regulated and is including harmful ingredients linked to long term health problems for employees and consumers as well as great harm to the environment. The Safe Cosmetics Act will ensure that personal care products are free of ingredients linked to cancer, reproductive or developmental issues and that those ingredients are fully disclosed on product labels and company websites.

Background:

The existing law regarding cosmetic safety dates back to The Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act of 1938, which ceded decisions regarding ingredient safety to the cosmetics industry itself. After 70 years without regulation, a bill to amend Title VI of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act was introduced on June 24, 2011 to ensure the safe use of cosmetics and create a health-based safety standard that includes protections for consumer families and employees. This Act would also level the playing field so small businesses that are making smarter and safer product can compete fairly.

New legislation, in the form of H.R. Bill 1385 was reintroduced by Rep. Janice Schakowky [IL-9], on March 21, 2013 and is currently seeking the consideration of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, as well as the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act grants the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate cosmetic products and their ingredients. However, FDA’s authority over cosmetics is less comprehensive than its authority over other FDA-regulated products.  To read more..

What’s at Stake:

This Bill would introduce measures which would revolutionize the cosmetics industry.  Regulations on the table include:

  • Requires establishments engaged in the manufacturing and packaging cosmetics for  use in the United States to register annually and pay a fee for oversight and enforcement of this Act.
  • Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Service (HHS) to establish labeling  requirements, to establish issue guidance prescribing good manufacturing practices for cosmetics and ingredients, as well as to establish a safety standard that provides a  reasonable certainty of no harm from exposure to a cosmetic or an ingredient in a  cosmetic.
  • Requires manufacturers of cosmetics and ingredients to submit to the Secretary all of  the safety data for the ingredients listed on the cosmetic label and the cosmetic itself,  which shall be published in a database.
  • Requires the Secretary to review and evaluate the safety of cosmetics and ingredients of  cosmetics that are marketed in interstate commerce including nanotechnology and  contaminants.
  • Authorizes the Secretary to order a recall or cease of distribution, misbranded, or  otherwise in violation of the FFDCA
  • Requires the reporting of adverse health effects associated with cosmetics.
  • Requires the Secretary to take action action to minimize the use of animal testing of  ingredients and cosmetics.
  • And finally establishes an Interagency Council on Cosmetic Safety, which requires the  Secretary of Labor to promulgate and occupational safety and health standard relating to cosmetics for professional use.

This Bill would “level the playing field” for safer companies and create an amazing opportunity for ‘green’ chemistry. The Bill was originally criticized for its registration and fee requirements, but has since been revised to:

  • Exempt businesses making less than $10 million from fees, and
  • Exempt businesses making less than $2 million from registration.

Forcing chemical ingredient ‘suppliers’, such as Exxon Mobil, and fragrance and flavors ‘suppliers’ to disclose their ingredients will help businesses with transparency and the ability to use products that businesses know they can trust.

Latest Developments:

As part of the 113th Congress, on March 21, 2013, Rep. Janice Schakowsky introduced H.R. Bill 1385 to the the floor and is looking for approval from the House Education and the Workforce Committee as well as the House Energy and Commerce Bill. The Bill, similar to its earlier counterpart H.R. Bill 2359, has 15 Cosponsors and needs to get passed on to the House of Representatives or Senate as a whole to garner support. The Bill would revolutionize practices in the cosmetics industry.

Next Steps:

But we need your help! Your business voice is needed for Safe Cosmetic reform. Please add your signature to the above letter to show your support for this important policy change.

For more information, or to get involved in the working group that manages this campaign, please contact us.

 

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