Last month, the Personal Care and Products Council (PCPC) held its annual Legal and Regulatory Conference. Scheduled from May 10 to 12 and taking place at Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City, Canada, this year’s three-day event featured regulatory expert speakers like Darren Praznik, President & CEO, Cosmetics Alliance Canada, Gerald Renner, Director Technical Regulatory & International Affairs, Cosmetics Europe, and Carlos Berzunza, President, CASIC.
Additionally, the conference featured expert speakers in legal affairs like Phil Goldberg, Managing Partner, Shook, Hardy Bacon, LLP, Washington, D.C., Wade Ackerman, Partner, Covington & Burling, Los Angeles, Calif., and Raqiyyah Pippins, Partner, Arnold & Porter, Washington, D.C.
The conference schedule covered a variety of pressing topics in the personal care product space including issues and educational information related to Packaging, PFAS, Green Guides and Claims, Toxic Chemicals and the Next Litigation, State of the States, Sunscreens, Clean Beauty, and International Issues. Further, the conference featured a special session that focused on upcoming MoCRA regulation implementation on the last day that focused on special issues like Adverse Event Reporting, Recordkeeping, Mandatory Facility/Product Registration, Safety Substantiation, Labeling, and Fragrance Allergens.
To gain further insight into this year’s conference takeaways, CosmeticsDesign spoke with Tom Myers, EVP, Legal & Regulatory Affairs at PCPC.
CDU: What were some of the biggest takeaways from the conference event?
Tom Myers (TM): The conference speakers and content were of the highest caliber and, after a three-year hiatus of in-person meetings due to COVID-19, attendees expressed a lot of excitement about being together at this year’s receptions, off-site event and walking tour of Quebec and described them as opportunities to network with industry friends and colleagues.
CDU: How was event attendance this year, and how were the topics received by event attendees?
TM: The 2023 Legal & Regulatory Conference was the highest attended event in PCPC’s 43-year history of this annual conference. Attendees also gave it the highest combined marks for content, speaker quality and networking compared to previous years. Additionally, attendee feedback about the location – Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, Canada – was extremely positive.
CDU: Was MoCRA’s passing a hot topic at this year’s conference?
TM: The entire third day of the conference was dedicated to a lively and interactive session focused exclusively on MoCRA. The presenters for this session played a critical role in negotiating MoCRA with the Senate HELP committee staff before enactment, and as such, were able to provide an insider’s perspective on the law. Attendees also received a PCPC “MoCRA toolkit” with FAQs after each substantive provision of the law to help with companies’ compliance.
CDU: What were some of the most pressing questions and/or crucial information shared surrounding MoCRA regarding the cosmetics and personal care product industries?
TM: While questions from attendees touched on almost every aspect of MoCRA, many were focused on labeling, record keeping/access, adverse events and safety substantiation.
CDU: Was there anything surprising that was discussed at this year’s show? What was surprising and why?
TM: There was a lot of interest in the new non-product liability lawsuit theories focused on virtual try-ons, misleading marketing campaign allegations, nuisance claims and biometrics.
Perhaps most surprising was a sudden filing of new class action litigation on the Biometric Information Privacy Act or “BIPA,” which was enacted in 2008. Recent technological advancements that can easily capture consumer information has spurred a renewed interest in BIPA’s application.
CDU: What are the future plans for next year’s convention?
TM: PCPC’s 2024 LRC will likely be held in Scottsdale, Ariz., and feature relevant topics impacting our industry. While this year’s topics focused mostly on legal and regulatory matters, next year will likely also include presentations on science-related topics. Additionally, there will almost certainly be another session dedicated to MoCRA to discuss the (by then) newly issued FDA rules, guidance, forms and platforms. The session will be designed to help PCPC member companies better understand their application and ramification.
CDU: Is there anything that cosmetics and personal care product industry professionals that could not attend this year’s conference should know about this year’s convention?
TM: The conference is PCPC’s sought-after, one-stop shop for legal and regulatory professionals in the cosmetics and personal care products industry. We strongly encourage everyone to attend next year’s event as each voice is important as we discuss issues impacting our industry. Attendees will likely receive an updated MoCRA toolkit as the FDA is expected to issue substantive guidance and rulemakings over the course of the next year.