Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Safe Cosmetics Act: where do you stand?

On July 21, three Congressional Reps introduced the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 (H.R.5786), "which gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority to ensure that personal care products are free of harmful ingredients." In many ways, this bill is very necessary and overdue, as "The Story of Cosmetics" video (created by the same makers of "The Story of Stuff") reveals. The Safe Cosmetics Campaign provides information about how the act will protect consumers going forward.

However... The Indie Beauty Network, a coalition of small businesses that create and sell personal care products, opposes the bill, citing the following reasons:

-- Small cosmetic businesses have a history of producing safe cosmetics.

-- The requirements of the law, including scientific testing of all their ingredients and reporting of trace elements found even in natural ingredients, would be onerous to small businesses. They give the example of having to identify and label everything in water, if that is an ingredient of the given cosmetic, noting that water "contains a number of chemicals, including nickel, lead, copper, silver and dozens more — depending on the water source."

-- The law allows individual states to add requirements to the federal law, compounding the burden to small businesses.

The Indie Beauty Network adds that this law would decimate the small cosmetics industry at one of the worst times possible, when we are trying to rebuild the American economy.

Here, however, seems to be the crux of all the above concerns:

H.R. 5786 does not contain an exemption for small business owners. Many laws in this country exempt small companies because compliance would put them out of business without any real benefit to society. The same is true in this case. H.R. 5786 treats the smallest company making 50 products a day the same way it treats our nation’s multi-million dollar companies. While there is an exemption from the annual payment of fees, the testing and paperwork requirements in this bill place burdens on very small businesses that are unfair, overreaching, unnecessary, offensive and intrusive.

What are your thoughts? I definitely think a Safe Cosmetics law is long overdue. However, wouldn't it make more sense to amend the bill to include an exemption for small businesses, than to fight against the bill altogether?

1 comment:

  1. I agree we not only need a safe cosmetics act but cosmetic companies are allowed to make claims about their products that are UNTRUE! Women are wasting millions of dollars beleiving the advertising lies such as using this cream or that product will get rid of wrinkles better than botox.