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March 31, 2010

ICMAD To Host FDA Workshop on April 29

The Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors (ICMAD) will host its 29th FDA Cosmetic Regulations Workshop at The New York Athletic Club in New York City on April 29.

The recent change in administration has already resulted in FDA’s increased oversight of products the agency regulates. This educational event presents a unique opportunity to hear and question some of the federal officials most responsible for the enforcement of regulations in the cosmetic and personal care industries. Dr. Linda Katz, director of FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors in the Center for Food Science and Applied Nutrition, will provide an update and overview of FDA’s current cosmetic programs.

This 2010 update will cover some of the latest regulations governing the industry, with ample time for questions and answers.

Online registration is available at

NPA Issues New Natural Standards for Household Cleaners

The Natural Products Association (NPA) has extended itsnatural seal and standard to include home care products such as household cleaners, laundry detergents, concentrated and ready-to-use hard surface cleaners.

The formation of the home care standard is the second of its kind from the NPA. In May 2008, the NPA established a standard and seal for natural personal care products, such as lotions, balms and shampoos. More than 340 products have currently been approved and certified.

“A number of products that are mainly synthetic are being positioned as natural.This leads to significant consumer confusion about the category and products people are choosing,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs at the NPA. “To provide the consumer peace of mind in the marketplace, the new natural standard for home care will inject integrity into natural for the person who matters most, the consumer,” he said.

Under the new program, products must follow strict guidelines set out by the NPA to merit bearing the seal of approval. The criteria include, but are not limited to:
• Product must be made up of at least 95% truly natural ingredients or ingredients that are derived from natural sources, excluding water;
• No ingredients with any suspected human health risks;
• No processes that significantly or adversely alter the natural ingredients;
• Ingredients that come from a purposeful, natural source (flora, fauna, mineral);
• Processes that are minimal and don’t use synthetic/harsh chemicals;
• Non-natural ingredients only when viable natural alternative ingredients are unavailable and only when there are absolutely no suspected potential human health risks; and
• Transparency and full disclosure of ingredients.

The standard comes amidst growing consumer confusion about what makes a product natural. A recent national survey found that natural ingredients are important to consumers and that there should be standards:
• 78% of those surveyed said there should be regulations/standards for natural home care products;
• 72% believe it’s important that ingredients in home care products are natural; and
• 73% are more likely to purchase a home care product if they knew it was certified as natural, according to NPA.

More info:

Consumer Database Is Open for Commentary

A proposed consumer product incident database run by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (Commission) could turn into a portal for consumers to express their dissatisfaction with products and companies, thereby diminishing the real intent of the database, according to the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA).

“The scope of claims to be included in this database was neither defined by the Commission in its proposal nor by Congress in language that amended the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA),” said Chris Cathcart, CSPA president. “Opinion-based comments regarding a product’s quality and effectiveness—versus its safety—should be considered outside the scope of the incident database. The intent of the database is to protect the public, not serve as a platform from which consumers can essentially blog about products and companies.”

In a report to Congress on Sept. 10, 2009, the Commission explained how it would implement the consumer products safety incident database as required under section 6A of the CPSA. This is a new requirement mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.

CSPA expressed significant concerns to the Commission in a letter dated Jan. 29.

“While we support the Commission’s mission to protect the public from unreasonable risk or injury, the incident database as laid out by the agency will not further this mission,” Cathcart concluded.

Consumer Reports, ‘Early Show’Need to Brush Up on Cleaning Products

Consumer Reports and the “CBS Early Show” missed agolden opportunity to properly inform viewers on how manufacturers of consumer household products are sharing more information than ever before about the ingredients found in their products, according to some industry associations.

Members of The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA) and the Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association are communicating about the ingredients in their products through the Consumer Product Ingredient Communication Initiative, a proactive industry program that took effect on Jan. 1, 2010.

Through the initiative, companies are now providing meaningful information on ingredients in a more consistent, easy-to-understand format that will help consumers make informed decisions about the products they use in and around their homes. Companies participating in the initiative will have the options to list product ingredients on the product label; on the manufacturers’, distributors’, or importers’ website; via a toll-free telephone number; or through some other non-electronic means.

Providing options for sharing information about ingredients in products will allow companies to make the best determination on how to preserve existing product labeling instructions required under law in both the U.S. and Canada. It is critical that consumers read and follow the instructions on the product label. Consumers can find more information about industry ingredient communication efforts through the Associations’ websites.

SDA and CSPA also rebutted Consumer Reports’ claim that one “category” of products is somehow “safer” than another. There is no reputable scientific evidence to support such a claim. Both types of products are mixtures of chemicals; their source does not determine their safety. Both types of products must be labeled to provide information on safe use.

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Save the Date: Jan 25-29, 2011 Is SDA Convention

The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) 2011 Convention will take place at Grande Lakes, Jan. 25-29, 2011. Convention and guestroom registration will open in June 2010, according to the organization. Also in June, the SDA will change its name to the American Cleaning Institute (ACI)—coinciding with a major redesign and launch of its website,