Two important things just happened that I feel I must pass along:
§ Introduction of the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010
§ Airing of “The Story of Cosmetics”
The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 will impose costly administrative and testing requirements that small businesses cannot afford. They want annual registration of each establishment, gross sales, and name and address of every supplier for every ingredient!!
“The Story of Cosmetics” cartoon video (Internet and mainstream media) is deceptive—it sounds good because it’s about requiring cosmetic companies to clean up their products and get rid of the chemicals. It doesn’t give details on how that will be accomplished or how it will affect small businesses—the ones who are ALREADY using clean ingredients. It doesn’t tell you small businesses will be regulated out.
For small businesses (who ARE the ones making natural and safe cosmetics), this is not a good thing because of the ominous administrative and testing requirements being sought. We believe the burden of proof should be on the FDA provide a list of unsafe ingredients and not the small business owners. After all, don’t they already have a huge list of unsafe and carcinogenic ingredients available from various agencies?
Here is a brief recap of this proposed legislation and why it is NOT a good thing for small businesses like mine. Others have already written details, and I will include some of them and provide links.
This week, the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 was introduced by Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc. (Link to PDF of legislation.) This bill is largely the work of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CFSC), backed by a variety of powerful tax-exempt organizations, including the Environmental Working Group (EWG). These organizations are using scare tactics to collect money to fund their efforts to put companies in your local community out of business. (For a money trail summary, including the fact that the top eight EWG executives earned $1,185,775.00 in 2008, click here to read about it at Essential Wholesale’s blog.)
Sources have told our organization CFSC will seek the following:
--Cosmetic companies with $1 million annual sales pay an annual fee (this will trickle down to everyone who buys supplies & increase cosmetic costs)
(The proposed user fee of up to $12,000 annually in the draft FDA Globalization Act of 2008 was dropped in the FDA Globalization Act of 2009 after independent cosmetic makers let it be known they would be put out of business.)
--Cosmetic companies test for specific ingredient and trace elements in cosmetics before they can be sold
What we don’t know is the COST. This proposed legislation will shut down your community companies, possibly even the ones making tubes of lip balm with olive oil, vegetable wax, and lavender essential oil. You won’t see them at farmers’ markets or your favorite boutiques or on FaceBook. You may be limited to big-company cosmetics who can afford to test for everything imaginable and hire employees for new staff requirements.
CFSC along with celebrity TV star and cosmetics company owner Fran Drescher will host a briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss the new legislation. These briefings are planned weeks in advance—and we believe it is no coincidence at the new Act was introduced the day before the scheduled briefing.
The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 is a polished version of what the CFSC has been touting. Many will believe big business is behind this bill because, clearly, the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 will put small businesses out of business. However, the Personal Care Products Council, which represents big cosmetic businesses, opposes this bill. In fact they have proposed their own version that does not include user fees and does not require pre-market testing of cosmetics. Their proposal will put the burden of proof on the FDA and not small businesses. The PCPC statement regarding the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 can be read here and their call for the FDA role to increase can be read here.
Read on if you want an better idea of what we face. Here are two points from Essential Wholesale’s (a well-known supplier in our cottage industry) blog:
A few points to consider regarding the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010
Subchapter B--Regulation of Cosmetics
`SEC. 611. DEFINITIONS.
`In this subchapter:
`(1) INGREDIENT- The term `ingredient' means a chemical in a cosmetic, including--
`(A) chemicals that provide a technical or functional effect;
`(B) chemicals that have no technical or functional effect in the cosmetic but are present by reason of having been incorporated into the cosmetic as an ingredient of another cosmetic ingredient;
`(C) processing aids that are present by reason of having been added to a cosmetic during the processing of such cosmetic;
`(D) substances that are present by reason of having been added to a cosmetic during processing for their technical or functional effect;
`(E) contaminants present at levels above technically feasible detection limits;
`(F) contaminants that may leach from container materials or form via reactions over the shelf life of a cosmetic and that may be present at levels above technically feasible detection limits;
`(G) the components of a fragrance, flavor, or preservative declared individually by their appropriate label names; and
`(H) any individual component of a botanical, petroleum-derived, animal-derived, or other ingredient that the Secretary determines be considered an ingredient. (Source: The Safe Cosmetics Act 2010)
The wording of SEC. 611. throws everything and the kitchen sink into the definition of a cosmetic ingredients. The two most alarming points are (E) and (H) because with today’s technology the definition of a contaminant that is present at levels above technically feasible detection limits is huge. It would contain trace elements that are found in water, the earth, air and all forms of nature. We are able to measure in parts per billion (ppb) and parts per million (ppm) which is so small that nearly nothing would be missed. One part per billion looks like this .0000000001 and one part per million like this .0000001 – that is really small but today’s technology can measure that and can you imagine how many elements are in every ingredient in ppm and ppb?
If there is water in your cosmetics what would your ingredient deck look like? Lead is allowed in drinking water at 15 ppb. According to the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations there are many contaminants that may be in your public water that have been set at measurable levels.
Conceivably a product containing water be required to have an ingredient deck that reads like this: Aqua (lead, acrylamine, alachlor, alpha/photon emitters, antimony, asbestos, arsenic, atrazine, barium, benzene, benzo(a)pyrene, beta photon emitters, beryllium, bromated, cadmium, carbofuran, carbon tetrachloride, chloramines, chlordane, chlorine, chlorine dioxide, chlorite, chlorobenzene, chromium, copper, cyanide, 2,4-D, dalapon, o-Dichlorobenzene, p-Dichlorobenzene, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, Di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate, dinoseb, diquat, endothall, endrin, ethylbenzene, fluoride, glyphosate, hexachlorocyclopentadiene…mercury….radium….uranium, vinyl chloride, xylenes.) Okay now that just covers part of the water, what about the natural ingredients that absorb “contaminates” from soil, air and water!
Even more concerning is the open ended language in (H) which states, “any individual component of a botanical, petroleum-derived, animal-derived, or other ingredient that the Secretary determines be considered an ingredient.” This pretty much means anything at anytime can be added at the discretion of the Secretary. At any given moment based on even unsubstantiated nonscientific information you could be forced to reformulate your product on the whim of the Secretary.
SEC 614. Cosmetic and Ingredient Testing and Safety
`(a) Publicly Available Cosmetic and Ingredient Test Data-
`(1) SUBMISSION OF INFORMATION-
`(A) INITIAL SUBMISSION- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010, manufacturers and distributors of cosmetics and ingredients shall submit to the Secretary (in an electronic format that the Secretary shall determine) all reasonably available information in the possession or control of the manufacturer or distributor that has not previously been submitted to the Secretary regarding the physical, chemical, and toxicological properties of single or multiple chemicals listed on the cosmetic labels under section 613, including--
`(i) functions and uses;
`(ii) exposure and fate information;
`(iii) tests of finished cosmetics; and
`(iv) any other information used to substantiate the safety of such cosmetics or ingredients. (Source: The Safe Cosmetics Act 2010)
What is concerning here you may wonder? The little mention of (iii) tests of finished cosmetics; and (iv) any other information used to substantiate the safety of such cosmetics and ingredients is what stands out as the killer of all small cosmetic businesses. You will be required, even the small mom and pop at the local farmers market, to make publically available cosmetic and ingredient test data on ALL of your finished cosmetics.
This doesn’t mean that you will have to prove that it is stable, microbiologically safe but that you will have to prove that when you mixed natural ingredient "A" with natural ingredient "B" that there is no lead or any other contaminate that is deemed unsafe, whether you put it in there or not. The costs and testing in this portion of the bill alone will result in the demise of ALL small cosmetic companies (even the signers of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.)
Imagine, in this economy, putting small businesses out of business for no reason at all!
For more on the topic please read the following links.
Comments & Concerns Regarding The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010
From Indie Beauty Business
From the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild
The Safe Cosmetic Act of 2010 is Not the Solution
From Personal Care Products Council
From Personal Care Truth
Read The Safe Cosmetic Act of 2010 and a good explanation of how natural products will be harmed can be read here by Sagescript regarding similar legislation in CO can be read here.
As I receive information on what we can do, I will pass it along!
Diane Seago Atkins, PhD, HHP
DSA Aromatherapy, LLC
Pure Earth Elements
hottest seller now is Tamanu Face Seruml!!
You will find my products at Amar Cosmetics in the Quarry Village, San Antonio, Texas: