Cosmetic safety issues heading for big debate

Draft legislation to give the US Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate the ingredients of cosmetics may soon be discussed by a Congressional committee. The legislation stands essentially no chance of passage but the debate between the industry and Republican members of Congress on one side and environmental and consumer advocates along with some Democrats on the other side could become very heated with high media profile.

The bill, known as the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, H.R. 2359, includes provisions to:

  • establish labeling requirements;
  • establish a safety standard that provides a reasonable certainty of no harm from exposure to a cosmetic or an ingredient in a cosmetic and that protects the public from any known or anticipated adverse health effects associated with the cosmetic or ingredient; and
  • requires the FDA to issue guidance prescribing good manufacturing practices for cosmetics and ingredients.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics states “It’s up to Congress to close gaping holes in the outdated federal law that allows cancer-causing chemicals in baby shampoo, hormone disruptors in fragrance and lead in lipstick.” The cosmetics industry is less than enthusiastic about the proposed legislation.

The bill can be found at

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics position in support of the bill can be found at

An industry view can be found by searching for 2359 on the website and especially at

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