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June 01, 2008

Is This The End of The Indie Beauty Products Boom as We Know It?

handmade_toiletries The past decade has seen an explosion of small, independent aromatics products companies emerge from the kitchens and basements of America.  From aromatherapy wellness products creators, indie natural perfumers,  sultry incense  formulators,  handmade soap makers and makers of bath products galore - creative entrepreneurs have conjured up myriad offerings from bath fizzies to sugar scrubs to pampering spa products. 

Then, along came the Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act of 2008, announced last month, proposing to give the FDA authority to affect new regulations that could stop the growth of this creative movement dead in its tracks.  For some, it could be the end.  Under the new rules proposed, The FDA could mandate an annual registration fee of no less than $2,000 (possibly more) per manufacturing facility.  This could put some out of business.    

The Personal Care Products Council (formerly the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association), has already testified before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, outlining the self-regulatory efforts of the major cosmetic industry over the past several decades.  From the written testimony of Pamela G. Bailey, CFO and President of the PCPC,   "The result of manufacturer safety practices and voluntary initiatives under a existing framework of Federal law has been an outstanding safety record that has been commended by previous FDA Commissioners.  Cosmetics and personal care products are the safest category of products regulated by the FDA."  Stephen F. Sundlof, D.V.M., Ph.D., Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, also submitted testimony which included the following:  "We believe the proposed legislation should be more closely targeted and prioritized according to risk. Several of the legislative sections appear not to be sufficiently focused on high-risk products. Some of these requirements would divert resources, which could detract from important product safety and security priorities."   While these larger entities are not arguing for or against the proposed legislation, these seem to be cautionary statements that would lead us to believe the larger industry has faith in existing industry efforts to self-regulate cosmetic safety via the CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review) established by CFTA in 1976 and funded entirely by the industry, evaluating more than 1,300 ingredients and publishing peer-reviewed scientific literature, available to the public. 

We are fortunate to have Donnamaria Coles Johnson who because of her passion for cosmetics and beauty products has tirelessly championed for small beauty products companies.  If you are a small cosmetic manufacturer and are not a member of the Indie Beauty Network, you are missing a plethora of ideas, education and networking to assist your business development.  Donnamaria has put up a public page to address this latest FDA issue, open to the public for comments and suggestions.   She will be preparing a position paper, using members' comments that will carry our voice to be heard by the Committees in charge of vetting public comments.  You can find Donnamaria's message and governmental links here:  http://www.indiebusinessforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=41 

We urge all small natural cosmetic manufacturers to keep abreast of this issue and join efforts as needed to make sure that indie business doesn't get left behind.     

Posted by Marcia on June 1, 2008 in Certification, Organizations, Politics, Regulatory Issues, Research, Safety/Toxicity, Trade Issues | Permalink

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Comments

I think they're grasping at straws here and trying to bring in more money. If they can fine the businesses they pick and choose (remember, this agency is already overworked and in the pharmaceutical industry's back pocket) and find to be not in compliance for whatever reasons, that's a steady income stream just in fines alone.

Any businesses who are able to pony up the $2-10K in yearly fees, well that's just frosting on the cake.

Posted by: sara | Jun 3, 2008 4:41:14 AM

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