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Personal Care Truth Comments on Safe Cosmetics Act 2011


SALUDA, S.C.—Personal Care Truth, a group of independent cosmetic business owners, responded to H.R. 2359: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), and Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).

Personal Care Truth believes the bill holds universal flaws that could impact the entire cosmetics industry, including large and small businesses. While Personal Care Truth is pleased Congress is taking a proactive approach at looking at the cosmetics industry, there are several concerning issues in the bill, including:

  • Label Confusion: The bill shows no exceptions for contaminants that occur in nature and appear in botanicals. The process of labeling all components and contaminants of each ingredient will be nearly impossible.
  • International Confusion: This bill pertains to U.S.-made cosmetics only, causing a serious divide in the international cosmetics industry.
  • Aromatherapy: The required labeling information will make it very difficult to recognize the sole essential oils used versus the constituents and contaminants involved.
  • Authoritative Source: The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel is the authoritative voice on this issue and was not consulted for this bill. 
  • Duplication of Registration: In Section 619 of the bill, the manufacturer and distributor of a cosmetic are required to have a registration number, causing additional layers of unnecessary bureaucracy that will ultimately increase costs for consumers.
  • Enhanced Business Risks: In Section 620, any person believing that a cosmetic is adulterated or misbranded has the right to turn the company into the Secretary, opening up businesses to frivolous lawsuits for personal gain.
  • Adverse Health Effects: This term is not appropriately defined in the bill.  Small allergic reactions could then be considered adverse health effects, which would be nearly impossible to avoid in every cosmetic user.

“Personal Care Truth opposes the H.R. 2359: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 because it is unworkable, far reaching and will do absolutely nothing to make cosmetics safer than they already are," said Lisa Rodgers, co-founder of Personal Care Truth.  “We support safe cosmetics and certainly believe 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."

Personal Care Truth believes there will be significant impacts from the H.R. 2359: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 on small businesses, including the high costs of complying with the bill requirements. What’s more, due to the differences in regulation, consumers could wrongly get the impression that larger cosmetics companies are safer than small businesses, soapers and crafters. All businesses will also be required to disclose their supply sources to the government, opening their business up to sharing trade and product secrets.

The H.R. 2359: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 also calls for intensive pre-market testing, a major barrier to entry for small businesses and cost-prohibitive to current small cosmetics companies. In addition, all Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) will be required to be available in various languages, again bringing unnecessary costs to the small business.

“I am in 100 percent support of safe cosmetics, but not the proposed bill (HR 2359) as written," said Kristin Fraser Cotte, co-founder of Personal Care Truth. “Targeting an industry with a proven track record of safety with unrealistic and unnecessary regulations will cost an incredible amount to implement, which we will all end up paying the price for when we go to purchase daily personal care necessities like soap." 


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