Over the last couple years, there has been a rumbling in the walls of our legislative bodies when it comes to cosmetics regulation reform in the United States, and it’s important for all of us to be informed, get involved, and make our voices heard. Below, I’ve outlined all the current instances of cosmetics regulation reform that’s happening as well as a recent briefing call we hosted!
Cosmetics Regulation Reform Discussion Draft in the House
On September 14th, a discussion draft was introduced in the House of Representatives “to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to ensure the safety of cosmetics” by Representative Lance and Representative Pallone. This discussion draft is mighty similar to the current bill sitting in the Senate. Here’s a brief overview of what the discussion draft includes:
- Very low small business exemptions (businesses who gross less than $100,000 a year, which is not even enough revenue for a living wage for a solo business owner!)
- Would require registration of cosmetics manufacturers with the FDA (with fees on the manufacturers to register, to total 20.6 million dollars for the FDA to implement the provisions of the bill)
- Mandatory cosmetic ingredient statement filing with the FDA (that must be fully up-to-date at all times)
- Would require GMP (good manufacturing practices)
- Mandatory adverse event reporting (both within 15 days for serious events and semi-annually for all)
- Authority given to the FDA to inspect company records, if they wish
- Authority given to the FDA to order recalls of products
- Ecommerce websites must fully present all labeling information online
Personal Care Products Safety Act in the Senate
Last year, Senator Feinstein and Senator Collins introduced the Personal Care Products Safety Act in the Senate. It was referred to committee shortly after introduction, and you can read my summary as well as get more information about that bill by clicking here.
On September 22nd, the Senate held a hearing about the current state of cosmetics regulations. If you missed it, you can review the hearing here as well as download transcripts of the testimonials.
The witnesses called to give testimonials in the Senate hearing were: Senator Feinstein, Senator Collins, Beth Jonas, Ph.D. (Personal Care Products Council), Wilma Bergfeld, M.D. (Cosmetic Ingredient Review board), Scott Faber, J.D. (Environmental Working Group), and Curran Dandurand (“Small Business” witness, co-founder of Jack Black, LLC). During the hearing, all testimonials were overwhelmingly in favor of the proposed bill from last May, the Personal Care Products Safety Act.
Briefing Call with the Coalition of Handcrafted Entrepreneurs
On September 30th, I joined Anne-Marie and Rick from COHE on a briefing call to discuss the current state of cosmetics regulation reform. During this briefing call, we discussed:
- An overview of how legislation gets passed into law in the United States
- The history of the current cosmetics law and cosmetics regulation reform
- An overview of the current discussion draft in the House & bill in the Senate
- The likelihood of cosmetics regulation reform happening in the USA
- What small business owners should be concerned about with cosmetics regulation reform
- How soapmakers can get involved to influence the legislative process & advocate for the industry
The recording of this call can be found below:
Also, you can download a transcript of this call by clicking here. (Right click and choose “Save target as…” or similar to directly save to your computer, or left click to open the transcript.)
How You Can Get Involved
The small business exemptions that stand within the two proposed pieces of legislation are much too low, and could seriously impact the handcrafted soap and skincare industry. As such, it is more important than ever for you to take time out of your day to advocate for this industry.
If you are not already a member of the Coalition of Handcrafted Entrepreneurs (COHE), please take a moment to do so. COHE is headed up by Anne-Marie Faiola of Bramble Berry, and is actively working to lobby on our industry’s behalf in Washington D.C. COHE sends out quarterly updates as well as updates when deemed important, such as this recent hearing and briefing call.
If you have not written to your representatives and senators in your state, please take five minutes to do so today. COHE makes this easy by providing a sample summary of a letter to help you craft your own, as well as an easy link to find contact information. Even if you have written in the past, take time to do it again!
Please do your part to advocate for our industry. Encourage discussion in Facebook groups and online forums. Engage other soapmakers and skincare formulators and ask them to advocate for us all, too. Write to your representatives. Together, our voice is stronger and louder. We need each and every soapmaker in this country to work together to be heard.