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US bill to give FDA authority to set safety standards for cosmetics

By Michelle Yeomans+

25-Mar-2013

Representatives of congress have introduced the 'Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act', which they propose will close major loopholes in the federal law that currently allows companies to use ingredients in cosmetics known to damage human health and the environment.

According to Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) 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.

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,” says Markey.

From diaper cream to deodorant, our medicine cabinets are filled with personal care products that may contain harmful ingredients,” he adds.

Meanwhile, Schakowsky reckons that "the FDA has little power under current law" and that this bill will remedy that by giving the Administration the authority to create and enforce a safety standard to get harmful toxins out of products.

Stricter labeling requirements

The Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013 would require stricter labeling requirements and gives the FDA the ability to order recalls of dangerous products  which has 14 original co-sponsors, including:

• 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.

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