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Looming Cosmetics Legislation: What You Need to Know

Contact Author Pamela Jo Busiek, president and CEO, ICMAD
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As a proud supporter of The Safe Cosmetics Modernization Act, H.R. 4075, the Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors (ICMAD) wants to ensure our members and constituents are kept informed. Following is additional background on the bill, its purpose and why we advocate its passage into law.

On Nov. 19, 2015, H.R. 4075 was introduced by U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX). It is a well-written bill.

There are two primary goals for the bill: (1) enhance and modernize the FDA’s [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] regulatory authority over cosmetics to ensure cosmetic product safety; and (2) achieve strong national uniformity to stop the states from passing laws that would interfere with the national distribution of cosmetics as the states have been doing with their GMO bills that establish varying labeling requirements.

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While the Feinstein Bill does appear to provide small business relief, the qualifying factors are such that very few businesses will realize any relief.

H.R. 4075 accomplishes these goals without adding excessive new regulatory programs and without requiring user fees.

In contrast, the Feinstein Bill advocates the creation of significant new regulatory requirements for cosmetics and significantly expands the FDA’s authority over cosmetics. If passed, the Feinstein Bill will result in cosmetics being more heavily regulated by the FDA than over-the-counter drugs or dietary supplement products which have demonstrated a much higher risk profile than cosmetics which have an excellent safety record.

If passed, the Feinstein Bill will not only greatly increase the cost of manufacturing cosmetic products, but it will also require cosmetic companies to pay user fees to the FDA. Initially, the Industry will be required to pay $20 million in user fees, which will escalate over time.

While the Feinstein Bill does appear to provide small business relief, the qualifying factors are such that very few businesses will realize any relief. The Feinstein Bill, which was introduced last spring as the Personal Care Products Safety Act – S. 1014, was strongly influenced by the activists. It will not provide national uniformity.

The conditions that must be satisfied under the Feinstein Bill, coupled with the carve outs from exemptions make it unclear whether any level of national uniformity will be achieved under the Feinstein Bill.

The Feinstein Bill will continue the dangerous trend of letting states regulate cosmetic products and thereby creating impediments to national distribution of cosmetics. This is a trend which is in stark contrast to what is happening internationally where the EU countries have banded together to create one EU standard for regulation of cosmetics.

H.R. 4075, the bill that ICMAD supports, provides absolute national uniformity from its date of passage: There are no carve outs or conditions precedents. After passage of 4075, no state will be permitted to pass or enforce its own labeling laws, like Proposition 65 which requires warning labels if certain chemicals are present in a cosmetic product.

Further reading: Top Questions to Ask Before Developing a Beauty Product and Big Win for Cosmetics: Court Closes Prop 65 Titanium Dioxide Case 

H.R. 4075 will protect cosmetic products from the application of state laws like Prop 65 or any of the other state laws that seek to ban or regulate cosmetic products including product labeling on the basis of human health or safety.

Because the regulatory requirements of H.R. 4075 are structured using FDA’s current regulatory programs, there is no need for FDA to charge user fees and the cost to industry for additional compliance should be small and further offset by not having to incur the cost of compliance with the myriad of state laws that now seek to regulate cosmetics.

Read more regulatory stories here in GCI.

Pamela Jo Busiek is an international speaker on the benefits of private label, advocacy and business growth. She became ICMAD's president and CEO in July 2011. She also served on the board of directors for four years including a role as president /chairman. Busiek has been in the beauty industry for more than 35 years and was the former president and co-owner of CBI Laboratories, where she served for five years after she had created and marketed her own international skin care and vitamin line under The Solutions Company, becoming one of CBI’s largest customers. During her tenure at CBI, Busiek was the recipient of the “Cosmetic Innovator of the Year” award in 2008.

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