Examining the Current State of Cosmetics Hearing – Update

Personal Care Truth supports safe cosmetics and certainly believes 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. We’ve heard there are 3 proposed bills. What they are or what they contain, is a mystery. If they are anything like the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, this is the position we took.

Yesterday, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics posted an action notice in regards to this upcoming hearing. They are rallying support for their position by asking people to submit their letter to the members of the Subcommittee. The beginning of the letter they have drafted for you begins like this:

Did you know right now in the U.S. it’s perfectly legal for there to be lead in lipstick and carcinogens in baby shampoo? Some of these chemicals don’t even appear on product labels. I hope that with your leadership, we’ll change that!

You’re probably wondering why I would give them the time of day to provide a link to their rally form. Well, it’s simple. Personal Care Truth is about transparency and the truth. I supplied the link because I want you to read it for yourself. Statements like in the above “rally form” infuriate me because they are preying on the fears of consumers. I wonder if their tune would change should the companies on their “Champions” list, found in their Market Shift, be tested. If they’ve used an ingredient from the ground, meaning, it grew in the ground, it would most likely test positive for lead.

For those wanting to attend the “Examining the Current State of Cosmetics” Hearing, here is the information:

The House Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee hearing on “Examining the Current State of Cosmetics” is scheduled for Tuesday, March 27th at 10:15 am in 2322 Rayburn House Office Building.

For those planning to attend the hearing in person, please remember that seating for the room is limited and based on arrival time.  We would suggest you plan to arrive prior to 9 am and line up outside of the Committee room. The doors to the room will open shortly before the hearing begins.  Since we cannot predict the number of people who will be in attendance, there is no guarantee you will gain entree into the room.  (At the same time, there may be many empty seats and you’ll wonder why you arrived so early.)

The only way to guarantee access is arriving when the building opens at (7:30 am – need to check) or hiring a professional “line sitter” who will arrive a minimum of 3 hours prior to the hearing. The general rule is each person in line can only guarantees access for one person into the room.  Therefore a single individual cannot hold a place in line for multiple people.

We also expect the hearing to be webcast live.  A link will be available on the House Energy and Commerce Committee just prior to the hearing. We suggest you click on the link at least 10 minutes prior to the start time to ensure there are no technical glitches.

If you believe in truthful information backed by scientific facts and would like to voice your concern, you may contact the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Health, here. Personal Care Truth is not about to tell you what to say, how to feel, or what to do. Y’all are savvy, well informed, free thinking consumers. Truth and science should prevail over educated guesses and hype.

Any changes to legislation will have a lasting effect, so here’s some food for thought:

one ‘Cannot unring a bell’; ‘after the thrust of the saber it is difficult to say forget the wound’; and finally, ‘if you throw a skunk into the jury box, you can’t instruct the jury not to smell it’.  Dunn v. United States, 307 F.2d 883, 886 (5th Cir. 1962).

  • http://personalcaretruth.com Lisa M. Rodgers

    March 23, 2012 – http://energycommerce.house.gov/hearings/hearingdetail.aspx?NewsID=9394

    Update on Examining the Current State of Cosmetics Hearing, along with background information, found here http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/Media/file/Hearings/Health/20120327/HTMG-112-HHRG-IF14-20120327-SD001.pdf

    • http://twitter.com/SueApitoLikes Sue Sawhill Apito

      Interesting – I wonder if Debbie May is there representing her wholesale supply business or the Soap Guild. 

  • http://twitter.com/SueApitoLikes Sue Sawhill Apito

    THANKS…I used the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics form. Very handy. Here is what I said:

    No one would argue that we don’t have a right to safe cosmetics.
    But the so called “Safe Cosmetics Act” is not the answer. Most people who support this proposed bill have never even read the actual bill…they just accept the “marketing” claims for what it would do. How is that any better than falling for the front label claims on your cosmetic and never turning over the bottle to read the actual ingredients.

    If this bill becomes law, every single cosmetic company in the United States would be out of compliance with the EU Cosmetics Directives – every single cosmetic ingredient supplier would be required to test their ingredients on animals; every single cosmetic company would be required to test their products on animals.

    PETA, Leaping Bunny and many many others have come out opposed to this bil for those very reasons.

    Don’t fall for the bill supporters claims that “we support alternatives to animal testing” because those alternatives, for the things this bill wants cosmetics companies to test for, do not exist.

    They may NEVER exist.

    If our food system was regulated the way this bill wants to regulate cosmetic ingredients – we would live in a world with no peanuts, no almonds, no wheat, and no dairy products ALLOWED simply because some people are allergic to them. This bill has no context and perspective when it comes to issues such “harm”.

    Cosmetic ingredient suppliers and product formulators would have to prove their products do not “cause any harm to anyone under any circumstances”. How is that even POSSIBLE? Animal testing or no animal testing, we simply cannot say for certain that any chemical or ingredient can never cause cancer or other diseases. But that is where the bar is set in this bill. It is an unrealistic criteria for “safety”.

    But that does not mean the system is not broken and in need of repair!

    The proposed $19 million in anticipated user fees could be put to good use even enforcing the laws we already have for cosmetics. Right now PLENTY of large and small cosmetics manufacturers are selling products containing colorants that are not FDA approved for the products they are in.

    The FDA could choose to mirror or adopt the EU Cosmetics Directive or even the rules in place in California and have money left over for enforcement. Why reinvent the wheel? All we hear from faux environmental groups are how much better it is in Europe. Fine. SAVE taxpayer money AND these User Fees and just decide – we’re going to follow those laws effective 18 months, or whatever. Give small companies a chance to get compliant. The large corporate cosmetic companies already comply for the lines they sell in those countries that follow the EU Directive – they could be compliant in even less time.
    But none of this – new laws – new requirements – none of it will matter if the FDA does not have more agents in place to investigate and enforce compliance. I’ve spoken to FDA Department of Health and Human Services Agents – these are nice people who are working really hard to do their jobs. But their desks are so full of complaints to investigate it’s an impossible task. They HAVE to prioritize and so of course, things are going to be missed or overlooked. This is a PERFECT place to double, triple, quadruple the staffing of agents on the ground.

    The more simple the law, the easier it should be to follow and the less expensive to enforce. Take the rest of the money left over and work with the EPA to create a target list of cosmetic chemicals that are most suspected of being harmful and PROVE IT. Synthetic fragrances should have warning labels like cigarettes if I had my way. Make new laws that are possible – not impossible.