The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 Has Been Introduced
Yesterday, I told you in this post to brace yourself for the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics's (CFSC) latest effort to scare everyone into thinking that cosmetics are contaminating them with cancer causing chemicals. As I suspected, the video they are circulating today is filled with misinformation and generalities designed to imprint your brain with the impression that you cannot trust cosmetics companies to produce safe personal care products.
One thing not mentioned in the video posted here yesterday, or in the one released today, is that CFSC and Congressional representatives worked together to time the release of the new video with a star-backed (that's where Fran Drescher comes in) Capitol Hill briefing slated to take place tomorrow (see below), and with the introduction just moments ago of the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 by Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc.
As you probably know, CFSC is backed by a variety of powerful tax-exempt organizations, including the Environmental Working Group (EWG). These organizations are using scare tactics to collect money to fund their efforts to put you and companies in your local community out of business. (For a good summary of the money trail, including the fact that the top 8 EWG executives earned $1,185,775.00 in 2008.annually, click here to read all about it at Essential Wholesale's blog.) Of course I could engage in a point-by-point blog debate about each misleading point raised in this video, but I think a better use of my time is to share these important things:
Sources tell me that the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 seeks to charge cosmetics manufacturers an annual fee. We addressed a proposed user fee of up to $12,000 a year in the draft of the FDA Globalization Act of 2008. The fee was dropped from the FDA Globalization Act of 2009, which was introduced last year.
The non-profit organizations that sponsored this video will seek to revive that fee, forcing thousand of small companies to go out of business, and thousands more not to ever start.
UPDATE: Now that the proposed legislation has been published (PDF), I am slowly reading through it. The proposed law does instruct the FDA to impose fees, but such fees will “only be assessed on companies with annual gross receipts or sales of more than $1,000,000.”
Sources tell me that the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 seeks to require cosmetics companies to test for specific ingredients and trace elements in cosmetics before they can be sold. Can you say C-P-S-I-A?
CFSC's proposed legislation is apparently poised to ensure that every company in your community is closed — yes, maybe even the ones making a few thousand dollars a year making quarter-ounce tubes of lip balm with olive oil, vegetable wax and lavender essential oil. Companies making products will high proportions of ingredients sourced in your own local area will be forced to close down. You won't see them at farmer's markets anymore, and you won't see them at your favorite boutiques. You won't see them on the FaceBook or on their blogs.
You just may be limited to cosmetics made by big companies that can afford to test for everything imaginable. They may hire a few full-time employees to manage the newly required testing (one silver lining I suppose …). They will likely have to raise their prices to pay them. At the end of the day, you may not be able to buy the amazing Indie and artisan crafted products you love.
Celebrity star power and lots of money mean less opportunities for you and your neighbors to create any kind of business wealth to support your families and your community. Tomorrow, CFSC along with celebrity TV star and cosmetics company owner Fran Drescher, will host a briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss the new legislation. (Fran recently tweeted that “the jig is up” for the cosmetics industry.)
Such briefings must be planned weeks in advance, so it is no coincidence that the new Act is being introduced today, the day before the scheduled briefing.
I find it revealing that CFSC claims to be interested in acknowledging small business in its overall efforts, yet it works to introduce legislation that could decimate them (even the ones who signed CFSC's Compact For Safe Cosmetics) without allowing anyone to see a draft of their proposals first.
Of course I don't know exactly what the legislation says, so this post will be supplemented once I have a copy and have a chance to read it. I hope that our nation's lawmakers will deliver on their promises to support the men and women who are leading small business in this country — who work hard every day to support their families and rebuild their communities in the midst of this country's worst economic recession in generations.
I want to work with them to make sure that happens. Don't you?
I have calls and emails into the offices of Reps. Schakowsky, Markey, and Baldwin to request a copy of the newly introduced Act. I will post it here as soon as I get a copy. I will keep you posted. UPDATE: Here's a PDF copy of the proposed legislation.
Question: What are you willing to do to make sure your representatives live up to their promises to support small business owners?