Update on The Safe Cosmetics Act
In 2008 the small businesses in the cosmetic industry joined together to fight the FDA Globalization Act of 2008. We remained together to fight the FDA Globalization Act of 2009, then the Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act in 2010 and most recently the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010. It has been a long hard battle that has been supported by Donna Maria of Indie Beauty Network, Leigh O’Donnell, Marie Gale, Feleciai Favroth from The Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild, myself from Essential Wholesale, along with small business owners Anne-Marie Faiola, Lela Barker, and thousands of business owners that helped spread the word, educate, sign petitions and so much more.
Even though you haven’t heard much about what is happening with legislation over the past few months there has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes. Most recently Leigh O’Donnell made another trip to Washington D.C. to meet with Congressional staff from Representative Schakowsky, Markey and Baldwin’s offices on June 10th, to continue discussions on the newest version of the drafted Safe Cosmetics Act which may be introduced as early as next month.
With your help we all made a lot of noise – enough to have earned open lines of communication that have allowed your voices to be heard behind the scenes. Leigh attended the June 10th meeting with the Soap Guild’s D.C. advocate Marry Anne Walsh of Roetzel and Andress.
After the June 10th meeting we were told that the new draft of The Safe Cosmetics Act may include these provisions:
For registration of your facility or company and your products:
Any cosmetic company with under $2 million in gross aggregate sales per year will be exempt from FDA registration.
A company that makes between $2 million and $10 million in gross aggregate sales per year will register their company (facility) and their products annually. There will be no registration fees and no change forms if you introduce a new product within that year.
A cosmetic manufacturer that has over $10 million in gross aggregate sales per year will register their company (facility) and their products and will be responsible for a registration fee to the FDA. This fee will be determined by the FDA and will be based on gross sales.
Note: We are anxious to learn what the proposed fees will be because it will cause a trickle down effect on prices of cosmetic chemicals and ingredients necessary for the manufacturing of products by small businesses.
All botanicals will be listed as what they are on the label and will not need to be broken down into their organic compounds. For example, Coconut Oil will still be listed with the INCI name Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil).
Also, the legislation will NOT require additional testing of already tested, approved and labeled ingredients. But cosmetic chemicals will be required to list trace elements — and fragrances will be required to list all ingredients.
The FDA will be charged with coming up with three categories of cosmetic ingredients: Safe without limits, Restricted, and Prohibited.
All food-grade ingredients will be on the “Safe without limits list”.
Ingredients on the “Restricted list” may be used in cosmetics but will have restrictions on usage or quantity.
Ingredients on the “Prohibited list” cannot be used in cosmetics and will have a 2 year phase out period.
To facilitate compliance, the FDA will maintain an online site for companies to access information on the three categories of ingredients and will update regularly, including the addition of new ingredients after testing and determinations are made.
Note: We are anxious to hear what governing or expert body that the FDA will rely on for this information that will be based on science and not agenda driven propaganda.
The soap exemption will remain the same as it is in the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act.
How You Can Help
If you have been following proposed legislation since 2008 you will see that there have been major changes. There are still many subjects to discuss, questions to be asked and many aspects of the bill that have not been addressed yet. It is encouraging to see that over the years, with your help, the needs of small businesses appear to have made an impact. This isn’t over yet.
Stay tuned. We will keep you informed when the draft bill is made publicly available, share resources to support or fight depending on the language of the draft and recruit you to spread the word when we know more.
Tell us what you think about the proposed components of the bill listed above by leaving a comment on this blog.
Spread the word by sharing this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN or any other outlet that you are involved with.
If you aren’t familiar with the history of the small business battle against unnecessary regulation you can catch up on Essential U or Indie Business Blog all the way back to 2008. Both blogs link to other bloggers and small businesses that have been instrumental in getting the word out over the years. If you need information on the truth about the safety of cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients go to Personal Care Truth for accurate information.
The most important thing to remember as we move forward is that cosmetics are already safe. For all companies big and small the safety of consumers and the ability for businesses to thrive in an already unstable economy must not be overlooked. This week at the National Association of Manufacturers’ 2011 Manufacturing Summit White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley was confronted regarding over-burdensome regulation and he said, “…typical sort of bureaucratic stuff that’s hard to defend. Sometimes you can’t defend the indefensible.”
We must stay vigilant in order to insure that the new language of the Safe Cosmetics act does not fall into the category of indefensible bureaucratic stuff.
More about the author: Kayla Fioravanti is the Vice President, Chief Formulator, ARC Registered & Certified Aromatherapist for Essential Wholesale and its lab division Essential Labs. Read more from this author