Congressional representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) introduced the landmark Natural Cosmetics Act in Washington yesterday.
It aims to define the terms “natural” and “naturally-derived ingredient” as they relate to personal care products. Cosmetic products sold, labeled, or represented as “natural” as defined by the bill must contain at least 70 percent natural substances, excluding water, to use the term.
To maintain accountability the bill requires suppliers to conduct Carbon-14 testing which they must submit to manufacturers. The bill would give the FDA authority to issue a cease distribution order, public notice on the FDA website, and voluntary recall authority of any product deemed misbranded under this act.
There hasn’t been a major federal update to cosmetics regulation in over 80 years -- even though other bills regarding the safety of ingredients have been introduced, including the Personal Care Products Safety Act, which many beauty brands endorsed.
The FDA did, however, issue a statement earlier this year announcing new steps that it will take to better ensure the safety of cosmetic products.
There is Currently No Definition of 'Natural'
As current regulations stand now, the word "natural" is meaningless on a product label -- and this can be misleading to consumers.
Rep. Maloney states, “Right now, the FDA doesn’t consider it misbranding for companies to label products as ‘natural,’ even if they contain toxins like coal tar, asbestos, and other harmful chemicals. That’s just not right.”
Under the 1938 Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, falsely labeling products as “natural” does not qualify as misbranding and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently has almost no authority to take these products off the shelves.
Rep. Maloney continues, “We’re talking about safety and health of millions of Americans who use these products. My bill will set the standard for ‘natural’ personal care products and do right by American consumers by putting transparency first.”
Rep. Grace Meng (NY-6) adds, “I am proud to join my colleague Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney in introducing the Natural Cosmetics Act. Increasing protections, transparency and oversight of personal care products is desperately needed, and this legislation would go a long way towards ensuring strict standards for items claiming to be ‘natural.’ "
Meng says she has worked to improve the safety and transparency of cosmetic products, menstrual hygiene products and other consumer goods. She adds, "I am now proud to help champion this legislation as well."
Beautycounter's Gregg Renfrew Shows Her Support
Beautycounter, and its founder Gregg Renfrew, is backing the bil and doing all it can to help support it.
"We're mobilizing our base..." she says -- read more here: Counter Brands Endorses the Natural Cosmetics Act.
Other endorsers of the Natural Cosmetics Act are:
Endorsers: Aprinnova, BaboBotanicals, The BeautyWell Project, Biossance, Credo, EO Products, Follain, Ivy Wild, May Lindstrom Skin, NakedPoppy, National Women's Health Network (NWHN), OSEA, Pipette, RMS, Take Care Shop, WE ACT for Environmental Justice.
See other bills that Rep.Maloney introduced or endorsed, some of which were signed into law.