Food and Drug Administration Deputy Commissioner Michael R. Taylor addressed a letter to the presidents of the Personal Care Products Council and the Independent Cosmetics Manufacturers and Distributors, whereby he expressed his "profound disappointment" over a proposal for a cosmetics regulatory overhaul.
According to Taylor, the recent industry set of counterproposals will have pre-empted the states' ability "to protect their citizens from unsafe chemicals in cosmetics."
The Deputy Commissioner goes on to claim that, contrary to the statements in the cover memo of the proposal, the provisions in the draft industry bill are neither consistent with the framework agreement the bodies reached last July nor 'clarifications' of the principles contained in the agreement.
This would, he writes; "declare a wide range of potentially harmful chemicals 'safe' for use in cosmetics without a credible scientific basis" and require the FDA to declare others safe, even if we knew that they posed real and substantial risks to consumers."
Industry bodies urge the FDA to return to negotiations
In response to the letter, the PCPC announced that "the FDA's response misrepresents the intent of our legislative proposals", and urged it to return to the negotiating table.
The manufacturers-and-distributors group then added that the bodies had; "met in good faith for over a year with the FDA diligently working to reach a framework," but that this letter has now "mischaracterized the industry's position."
The bodies had been working on upping the FDA's supervision of cosmetics
As it stands, the FDA lacks the same level of regulatory authority over cosmetics that it has over food, medical devices and drugs.
Back in July, the Administration had forged a far-reaching agreement with the industry that would have meant cosmetics would be supervised as closely as the rest of the industries it oversees. The agreement was to serve as the basis for legislation to grant the FDA the new authority.
Under that deal, the agency would have had the power to test ingredients, inspect manufacturing plants and compel companies to report any adverse reactions to chemicals.
But that agreement fell apart as some companies backed away in early fall.