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FDA rejects cosmetics industry’s draft legislation

Draft industry bill could put Americans at greater risk from cosmetic-related illness and injury than they are today

For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 6, 2014
Contact: Margie Kelly, 541-222-9699, mkelly@breastcancerfund.org, or Janet Nudelman 415-279-1473 jnudelman@breastcancerfund.org

SAN FRANCISCO—Michael Taylor of the Food and Drug Administration issued a scathing letter today expressing his "profound disappointment" with draft legislation the agency received from the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) and the Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors (ICMD)—two cosmetics industry trade associations—outlining their vision of federal cosmetics regulatory reform.

Writing that "the draft industry bill could put Americans at greater risk from cosmetic-related illness and injury than they are today," Taylor expressed he no longer saw common ground with the industry in a 14-page memo that detailed how industry’s proposed changes would weaken the FDA’s already very limited regulatory authority over the safety of cosmetics and personal care products.

According to Janet Nudelman, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and director of program and policy at the Breast Cancer Fund:

"The FDA was right to reject the cosmetics industry’s draft legislation; it’s radioactive and no member of Congress should go anywhere near it. In the industry’s proposal, the FDA’s very limited regulatory authority would be even further eroded. It’s an unacceptable response to a changing world where consumers simply don’t want cancer-causing chemicals in their lotions, shampoo, and make-up. The American public wants and deserves safe cosmetics and personal care products."

"Senior members of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee from both sides of the aisle directed the industry, the FDA, and consumer advocacy groups to come up with a bill that would give the FDA the regulatory authority and resources it needs to more strictly regulate the safety of cosmetics. Industry responded by giving the Congress a slap in the face, and is instead calling for even greater self-regulation."

"Congress needs to take consumer concerns about the safety of cosmetics seriously and stop letting the industry trade associations call the shots. Policymakers that care about this issue should be drawing from the bill on the table—The Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013—that articulates a high bar for cosmetics safety. Consumer demand for safe cosmetics is already high and growing, states are acting to fill the regulatory void, retailers are creating their own cosmetics safety “retail regulation” standards in the absence of federal protections. The time to act is now. We can’t let the industry trade associations get in the way of meaningful safe cosmetics reform."

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The Breast Cancer Fund is the leading national organization working to prevent breast cancer by eliminating our exposures to toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease.