Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Safe Cosmetics Act 2010

In August of 2008 all of us indie bath, beauty and bodycare businesses were in a panic about the FDA Globalization act that was going to put us out of business. I blogged about it then. And for the moment we were saved.

But now comes the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010. And it's got the whole industry in another panic. Much like the earlier proposition, anyone who manufactures and retails soap and beauty products, no matter how big or how small, will have to put their products through expensive and rigorous testing in order to label every single element of every single ingredient in every single product.

Since current technology can literally detect parts per billion through scientific testing, this is going to be a huge undertaking. And it will take its toll on the small, woman-owned, cottage businesses the most. Only the biggest corporate manufacturers will be able pay for that kind of testing.

The intention of this over-reaching legislation is to "protect" people from dangerous ingredients. That sounds great. However, it's not so cut and dried. Natural ingredients are extremely complex, unlike much more simple synthetic ingredients. A plant compound often has so many trace elements in it, that when you break it down into parts per billion, there will be an element that on its own can be found on a carcinogenic or contaminant list. This element, when ingested in extreme amounts by rodent lab animals might cause cancer. But when found in its natural state, in combination with the rest of the elements in that single plant ingredient, might even be anti-carcinogenic, antioxidant, or anti-inflammatory. This new legislation goes so far overboard that many natural product makers will be just give up.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is behind all this, as they were behind the FDA Globalization Act of 2008. They have quite a lot more lobbiest pull than any of us little guys. So we need to work together to petition against this proposal.

This post at Kayla's blog (Essential Wholesale) has infinitely more detailed information about what is being said, what is being done, and how you can help stop this.

And Anne-Marie (Brambleberry) wrote such an excellent, succinct and easy to understand list of reasons why this is going to hurt us, that it's a must read too.

Please sign the petition against it.