Natural Cosmetics Act Proposed By US Government

MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com

Comments

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    We'll see if this goes anywhere. The FDA wasn't even able to define "hypoallergenic" so I find it hard to believe that this natural definition will get past all the hurdles. There are so many competing interests too. The natural standard people won't want the law passed, the greenwashers of the world won't want it passed, and the anti-regulation people will be against it too.

    I find this part to be BS also - "We’re talking about safety and health of millions of Americans who use these products. "  The bill will do nothing in regards to the safety of cosmetic products.  It's already illegal to sell unsafe cosmetic products.
  • "the FDA does not consider it misbranding for companies to label products as ‘natural,’ even if they contain toxins like coal tar, asbestos, and other harmful chemicals"

    What are they even trying to say here?? Asbestos is natural but it shouldn't be in cosmetics anyway since the FDA makes ingredient safety a prerequisite .

    I thought they would speak more to the instances where people are labeling products 'natural' with ingredients like decyl glucoside or glyceryl stearate. when the  'natural' starting material has been through some  chemical processing, where do they draw the line?
  • ozgirlozgirl Member, PCF student
    It sounds like the only people supporting this would be the labs doing carbon-14 testing. :smiley:
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    Quite the contrary ... we have a USDA Organics Program, there are several natural standards organizations that have developed standards that are quite similar to one another, including the Natural Products Association.  It does not make sense to me that organizations that have developed natural standards would oppose the codification of those standards.  This will also be supported within the Federal Trade Commission ... all under the auspices of being good for consumer protection ... which it is.

    People may bicker about the specifics of the standards, but what credible rationale could any opposition have to codifying a set of standards designed for consumer protection against false advertising ... "you're ruining our greenwashing product lines" isn't going to cut it.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    How is this different than the efforts to codify "hypoallergenic"?  The FDA tried, but it was struck down by the courts. https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetics-labeling-claims/hypoallergenic-cosmetics

    I suppose that since this is coming through congress that might make things different but we see how much they get done. 

    Perhaps I'm a bit more cynical but it makes sense to me these groups would outwardly support the legislation while actually be doing things to prevent passage. The NPA or EWG or COSMOS make money by having companies get certified under their natural standard. If the government sets the standard you would cut off a significant revenue source for those organizations. Unless of course, they can get themselves written in as certifying bodies, but that is not a given. It's likely if something like this is passed these organizations will follow the same tactic that the Leaping Bunny group is doing in the EU, claiming the standards aren't strict enough & that only LP is the real standard. (e.g. https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/what-we-do/corporate-partnerships/prohibitions-cosmetics-testing-eu-and-elsewhere )

    It's already illegal to sell unsafe cosmetics (natural or otherwise).
    How is this good for consumer protection?  

  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    The problem is the assumption that these companies are making much money through their certification programs.  There are only a handful of finished products that are certified by any of these organizations ... the money is coming primarily from ingredient manufacturers having their ingredients certified. 

    I suspect that part of the program will include standards organizations becoming Certifying Bodies ... the same as with Organic Certifying Bodies.  That model is already well-established.

    The FTC has already pursued several cases of greenwashed products advertised as Natural when they contain synthetics and there are also been several consumer class action lawsuits as well ... the FTC enforcement actions and class action suits have all been won by the plaintiffs.

    As for Leaping Bunny ... that's LP propoganda.  If you have ever had anything certified by LP, you know that their certification program is less than rigorous and LP has no way of knowing/proving whether or not animal testing has not been conducted other than a company statement.  So, it's a canard.

    It is illegal to sell unsafe cosmetics.  It is not per se illegal to claim that your product is Natural when it does indeed contain synthetics ... that's deceptive advertising.

    It will be very easy for any Congressman to vote "Yes" for this bill.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    I think we're mostly in agreement except for our estimation of the ease at which this will pass. I still doubt it will. 

    Though I have to wonder, if the FTC is already filing lawsuits then why is there need for more regulation?

    The cosmetic industry is rife with deceptive advertising. Natural, cruelty free, preservative free, hypoallergenic, stronger hair, anti-aging claims, celebrity endorsements, paid influencers, fake online reviews. Not sure how much this will help.
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    I suspect it is much easier for the FDA to issue violation letters and enforce a cease and desist if the product is mislabeled ... that's within their regulatory mandate without having to go to Court.  And, they have the authority to force a company to pull a product from the shelves.

    The FTC has to go to Court to enforce a deceptive advertising claim.

    What it will do is formalize a definition of Natural and establish legal standards for Natural ... virtually analogous to the Organic regulatory framework.

    It may well be that companies will have to have their products certified as Natural if you want to make that claim, just as you have to with Organic.  The certifying bodies will actually end up making more money if this becomes the requirement which is why I think the Natural Standards organizations are going to be behind this big time.  It also give consumers better information ... all they have to do is look for an official, legal Natural certification stamp on a product's label.

    Yes, the industry is rife with deceptive advertising.  I've seen companies create fake Natural and Organic stamps that look like official stamps, but were created by a graphic artist.  But, that's no excuse to not create a regulatory framework to cut down on deceptive advertising ... it is the reason why more regulation is needed imho.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
Sign In or Register to comment.