In August 2008 after I returned from my first trip to Washington D.C. with Indie Beauty Network president Donna Maria Coles Johnson and fellow IBN members Lela Barker, Anne-Maria Faiola and Jamila White I wrote in a blog post, “Over the course of the next several months (who knows how long this will last??!), I will continue to update you on our progress.” Months turned into years and today we continue to fight legislation and share information with you.

Over the years I’ve worried that eventually our industry would divide over the topic of cosmetic legislation. Today, the first cracks showed up. The Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild came out with a statement yesterday in which they said, “Based on the information provided to us and our current understanding of the bill, we support the intent of The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011.” It is now obvious to many that we have taken polar opposite positions on H.R. 2359, The Safe Cosmetics Act 2011.

I know that HSMG has had meetings with the staff of the bill sponsors, Representatives Jan Schakowsky, Edward Markey and Tammy Baldwin in the past week and were assured that the sponsors had different intentions with the bill than the interpretations from reading the bill. I, unfortunately, even if I had heard the promises made by the staff of the sponsors of this bill can not support any bill based on intent alone. When the intentions match the language then, and only then, will I be able to support this bill.

A blog interviewing Janet Nudelman, the legislation coordinator for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and director of program and policy for Breast Cancer Fund, also came out today making similar statements about misinterpretations. In the blog post the fact that Janet Nudelman is a co-author of H.R. 2359 was not mentioned, in fact, only her Breast Cancer Fund position is mentioned. It states, “In her own words, Nudelman debunks four of the most commonly held myths about the bill,” however, no sections of the bill are used to reference, prove or explain how the bill had been misinterpreted. Just more rhetoric from this partisan political organization without a shred of evidence.

The fact is that Janet Nudelman does not even fully understand that bill she and the CFSC helped write because they do not understand the cosmetic industry. Or maybe they do and they just don’t want you to understand it or oppose it.

We will continue to oppose H.R. 2359, The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 until it is either defeated or rewritten. Promises and intentions are worthless when it comes to making laws that will impact millions of small and large businesses not to mention every consumer of cosmetics around the world. I am saddened to have to publicly not support the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild’s position on H.R. 2359.

You can read H.R. 2359 here or you can read H.R. 2359 section by section with my comments here. Whatever you do make sure that you read the bill before you take a stance on this important legislation. The new tactic is to make is seem like we are not able to understand the bill. Please. There is nothing tricky with the language just with the way they want to keep you from exercising your right to sound off.

We will be providing a stock form letter that you can use to send to your Congressperson with the opportunity to add your own story. We will also be providing a list of the top 30 Representatives that would oppose this bill and thus creating a blockade in the House for this bill. Stay tuned for more info on how you can help stand up for your rights to be represented.

You made your voices heard in 2008, 2009, 2010 and in Colorado and helped stop senseless legislation and you can do it again in 2011.


Perry Romanowski has over 18 years experience formulating products to solve consumer problems in the personal care and cosmetic industry. His primary focus has been on hair & hair related products. He is also an author who has published extensively about the field of cosmetic science. He is currently Vice President of Brains Publishing which specializes in science education. Perry received his B.S. in Chemistry from DePaul University. He has written and edited numerous articles and books, teaches Society of Cosmetic Chemists continuing education classes in cosmetic science, and is the primary author at a website dedicated to training current and future cosmetic scientists. His latest book project is the third edition of Beginning Cosmetic Chemistry published by Allured. Perry can be reached through his website ChemistsCorner where he is available for consulting about cosmetic formulating, testing, and Internet solutions.

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