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Safe Cosmetics Act Bill Reintroduced

May 3, 2013

• US Reps. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) reintroduced the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act, which, they maintain, closes major loopholes in the federal law that allows companies to use ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products known to damage human health and the environment.

“The last thing you want to worry about first thing in the morning is whether the products that make us and our children clean and comfortable also contain cancer-causing chemicals,” said Rep. Markey. “From diaper cream to deodorant, our medicine cabinets are filled with personal care products that may contain harmful ingredients. This bill will help close the gaping holes in federal law that allow companies to use potentially untested and unsafe ingredients in cosmetic and personal care products. Consumers deserve to have confidence that the products they use every day use will not harm them.”

“The simple truth is that everyday products that women, men, and children use contain ingredients that can cause cancer as well as reproductive and developmental harm,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “Consumers think the Food and Drug Administration is a watchdog preventing harmful ingredients from being in their shampoos, cologne, makeup, deodorants, lotions, and other products, but the truth is, the FDA has little power under current law. This bill will remedy that by giving FDA the authority to create and enforce a safety standard to get harmful toxins out of our products.”

Key provisions in the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013, which has 14 original co-sponsors, include:
  • Cosmetic and Ingredient Testing and Safety: FDA would establish a list of ingredients prohibited from being used in cosmetics. This includes carcinogens and reproductive and developmental toxins.
  • Post-Market Testing: Requires the Secretary of HHS to conduct annual random sample tests for pathogens or contaminants in cosmetic products.
  • Registration of Cosmetic Companies and Registration Fees: Cosmetics companies would be required to register with FDA and pay a registration fee based on annual gross receipts or sales. Small businesses with less than $2 million in revenues from cosmetics would be exempt from registration; businesses with less than $10 million in revenues from cosmetics would be exempt from registration fees.
  • Market Restrictions: Provides the FDA with recall authority for products that are misbranded, adulterated, or otherwise fail to meet the safety standard and can request a voluntary recall or order the ceasing of distribution of any such cosmetic product.
  • Mandatory Reporting of Adverse Health Effects: Cosmetic manufacturers, packagers and distributors would have to provide the FDA with reports of adverse health effects associated with the use of a cosmetic.
  • Worker Issues: Requires companies that manufacture cosmetics for salon use to provide information on any health hazards linked with those cosmetics.
  • States Rights: States may set more stringent standards.

New Jersey Passes Indoor Tanning Law
• New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed into law A2142, a new bill that prohibits those under the age of 17 from using indoor tanning beds. The bill, which revised an earlier law governing the use of tanning facilities by minors, also bars teens up to 14-year-old from getting a spray tan.

The legislation does allow 17-year-olds to use a tanning salon if a parent or guardian accompanies them at the first visit and gives consent.

Assembly Bill No. 2142 prohibits minors under 14 from using spray tanning procedures in tanning facilities, and further prohibits minors under 17 from using commercial tanning beds.

The bill also specifies that minors 17 and older are permitted to use commercial tanning beds, provided that a parent or guardian is present at the tanning facility for an initial consultation.

American Cleaning Institute Speaks Out on Tax Code
• US House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee members examining ideas to reform the tax code should look no further than the negative impacts of the tax subsidies upending the US oleochemical industry, according to the American Cleaning Institute (ACI).

“We are not opposed to biofuels. We are opposed to misguided government subsidies that negatively affect the price and availability of animal fats, a key feedstock for the oleochemical industry,” said Douglas Troutman, vice president and counsel, government affairs, ACI. “Energy tax credits, if used, should encourage the development and use of new raw materials that do not compete with established uses such as oleochemical production.”

Members of the US House Ways and Means Committee are undertaking a review of the Tax Code. ACI hopes that the unintended consequences of energy tax incentives utilizing tallow as a feedstock will come up in their discussions.

“Since passage of the ‘American Jobs Creation Act of 2004,’ government policy has increasingly driven and subsidized the diversion of animal fats to biofuel production via tax credit supports,” said Troutman. 

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