Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011: What It Means for the Beauty Industry and You

Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, eco-friendly beauty, eco-beauty, green beauty, sustainable beauty, House of Representatives, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Photo by clarita

The beauty industry is one of the few industries where harmful ingredients such as formaldehyde, heavy metals, and lead are allowed as ingredients. This current trend of consumers educating themselves, however, has finally forced the government to take action. A bill that was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on June 24 may give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority to keep our personal-care products free of chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, neurological disorders, and other ailments. With the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 (H.R.2359), we may at last witness a shift from a policy that hasn’t been updated since 1938.

Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, eco-friendly beauty, eco-beauty, green beauty, sustainable beauty, House of Representatives, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Photo by kconnors

SEA CHANGE

This is a very encouraging sign. Years ago, when I started using natural beauty products, I could count on one hand the brands that offered truly nontoxic ingredients. Nowadays, people are becoming increasingly aware of what we put on our bodies. As a result, a growing number of brands are offering more natural and organic solutions.

It appears that this has caught the attention of many politicians. “The personal care products that make us clean should not make us sick,” says Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts. “America’s diaper bags and medicine cabinets should never have to be labeled ‘hazardous to your health’ due to products like creams, conditioners, and cosmetics that contain dangerous ingredients. The Safe Cosmetics Act will close a gaping hole in the federal law that allows potentially toxic chemicals to remain in the products we use everyday.”

“America’s diapers bags and medicine cabinets should never have to be labeled ‘hazardous to your health,'” says Congressman Ed Markey.

This is welcome news to small-business owners who manufacture safe products but can’t compete with bigger corporations. “This legislation,” says Rebecca Hamilton, director of product development at Badger, “creates a floor of safety for the industry and guarantees that all companies are playing by the same rules, supporting the efforts of companies raising the bar for sustainability and safety in the marketplace and increasing demand for safer products.”

Ask your U.S. representative to co-sponsor the Safe Cosmetics Act, and let’s keep our fingers crossed that the bill gets passed. We are due for change.

+ Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011

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One Response to “Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011: What It Means for the Beauty Industry and You”

  1. MarciaElston says:

    I have been involved in the natural personal care products industry for over 15 years. I import essential oils and other plant extracts from around the world, providing them to the medical community, the spa industry as well as micro businesses and educational institutions. I have been involved in the development of natural and certified organic cosmetic formulations during that time and provide consultation and private label services to small businesses. Companies like mine were once signers of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics (who have greatly influenced this pending legislation and other attempted legislation at the state level, and who also produced Annie Leonard’s over-reactive video aimed to scare people into believing completely erroneous information). CFSC, by not involving their member signers in this move towards ridiculous claims of extreme toxicity and overblown scare tactics not grounded in factual evidence, lost my support and that of many of my colleagues several years ago. SCA 2011 (HR 2359) does nothing to improve the safety of cosmetics and is written without supportive scientific accuracy. Ironically, it adds additional burdensome (and sometimes impossible) labeling requirements that will only confuse customers more. The cosmetics industry is one of the safest industries in the modern age, and current holistic endeavors to introduce important worldwide ecological and cultural considerations for plant-based products are moving it into the next century on a sound footing. I would suggest that your readers do a little more research before supporting this bill, and the massive PR campaign to support it brought by misguided zealots. I host a group blog in the aromatics industry where you can find sound, rational opposition to this legislation http://www.aromaconnection.org/ You can find other reasonable, rational objections here http://bit.ly/jJLN8x and here http://bit.ly/9IcpSS.

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