I find that it is always worthwhile to see what California is up to at any given time. After all, they did actually passed Prop 65 – the crazy law that made millions of dollars for lawyers in the state of California. After reviewing the Massachusetts bill, I went over to the California site to see what they had cooking this year.
And I found that California has been busy in 2011. There are a total of 5 bills that in one way or another either touch on cosmetics or work on topics that are closely related to us. I could not find hearing dates for any of these bills but I did find that the California State Assembly calendar ends September 9th. That means that any hearings will be very soon. If you find out any of these hearing dates before I do please share them here.
Let’s look in numerical order at the 5 bills.
This is the bill to watch because it is specifically aimed at cosmetics. This bill would establish a Green Ribbon Science Panel and authorize that panel to “take various actions in assisting the Department of Toxic Substances Control with regard to identifying, evaluating, and responding to chemical of concern in consumer products.” This language is so vague it is frightening — “take various actions” – “responding to chemicals of concern” – so undefined that it could mean any action responding to any concern brought up by political action scare groups.
This group will also have the power to encourage, “the redesign of consumer products, manufacturing processes, and approaches.” What is really alarming about this bill is that it does not say anywhere in it who will make up this Green Panel — will the EWG and CFSC have a seat at that table?
This bill is another one that is very important to watch because it is specifically aimed at cosmetics. This bill would authorize the State Department of Public Health to require any manufacturer of cosmetics that is not currenly registered and complying with the FDA Voluntary Cosmetic Reporting Program to provide all required information in that program to the State Department of California.
This bill shows that the exemption given to small businesses in The Safe Cosmetics Act 2011 will not hold up to revisions in the bill on a federal level and that the states are already aiming at removing that exemption on a state level. The more I read and find out there the more I realize that Donna Maria of Indie Beauty Network had it right in her opposition statement to H.R. 5786, “H.R. 5786 specifically allows all 50 states to pass stricter requirements. Even with the sweeping nature of HR 5786, it specifically states that each state can pass additional laws as it sees fit. This provision is Congressional permission for each state to pass whatever laws it wants, creating a patchwork quilt of laws that no small company can comply with.
If Texas (or Oregon or Rhode Island or your state) adds labeling or manufacturing requirements that are different from HR 5786, and also different from other states, then no company will be able to sell so much as a quarter-ounce tube of lip balm without first checking to make sure they are not in violation of 51 separate cosmetics laws. No small company can do that (and most large ones can’t either).”
This bill comes up when you use the search term cosmetics on the legislation site. It is in regards to body art and is worth watching because it could either include at some point or be used as a basis for regulation of spas and salons. The interesting thing here is that it changes the one time registration and fees to annual registration and fees. The bill defines “Body art” as body piercing, tattooing, branding, or application of permanent cosmetics” This isn’t really related to cosmetics, but the fact that it is pushing for annual fees and registration for a profession that previously had a one time fee and registration is worth watching.
This bill is currently aimed at our cousins in the food and drug world, but with a small word added cosmetics could be added to this bill. It would make it illegal to sell infant formula, baby food or any over-the-counter drug after the “use by” date of the packaging.
This bill also is aimed at our near cousins. It is related to BPA in packaging for infants and children under the age of 3. This is specifically related to cosmetics, but it is worthwhile keeping an eye of legislation related to packaging especially because this one makes BPA in 0.1 parts per billion (ppb) illegal. That is really really really small.