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From California to Colorado: Three Battles Against Cosmetics
By: David C. Steinberg, Steinberg & Associates
Posted: May 27, 2010, from the June 2010 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
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In addition, the bill describes prohibition and enforcement as follows: Prohibition—sale of personal care products containing unsafe chemicals. On or after Sept. 1, 2011, a manufacturer shall not sell, offer for sale, distribute for sale, or distribute for use in this state any personal care product that contains a chemical identified as causing cancer or reproductive toxicity.
Enforcement by private citizens—civil penalty. Any person alleging a violation of section 25-5-1204 may bring an action against the manufacturer in a court of competent jurisdiction in the county where the violation occurred. Upon finding a violation, in addition to any other relief authorized by law, the court shall order the manufacturer to cease and desist conduct violating section 25-5-1204 and shall order the manufacturer to pay the prevailing party reasonable attorney fees and costs. A manufacturer that violates section 25-5-1204 is subject to a civil penalty of up to five thousand dollars per violation per product for a first offense, and up to ten thousand dollars per violation per product for a second or subsequent offense. Penalties collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the general fund.
Of critical importance is definition of manufacturer. According to HB 1248, “Manufacturer” means any person whose name appears on the label of a personal care product pursuant to the requirements of 21 CFR 1.12.
The above reasons and measures for regulating cosmetics are taken from the bill itself. However, in guest commentary to the Denver Post on March 1, 2010,5 Primavera gave some very personal reasons for cosmetics regulation. In her commentary, she noted she was a breast cancer survivor and further stated she did not smoke, was not overweight, and neither her mother nor her grandmother had cancer. She said the doctors had no explanation regarding why a 38-year-old would develop cancer. “Years, later I discovered a possible contributor: my daily use of personal care products.” She continued, “Many products contain ingredients such as formaldehyde, phthalates and coal tar, that (sic) are linked to cancer and birth defects.”5 This is straight out of the EWG’s tactic of distorting the truth. There is no use of anhydrous formaldehyde gas in any cosmetic; phthalates are infrequently used now due to relentless junk science attacks on them, although the FDA and CIR have found them to be safe; and the only use of coal tar is in OTC drugs where the FDA and outside experts have found this to be safe and effective drug active.
Primavera’s commentary continued with her surprise that the FDA does not review the safety of cosmetics before they are placed on the market; it did not include her asking for her federal income taxes to be doubled to pay for this. The fact is that since Japan discontinued its mandatory pre-approval of cosmetics in 2001, no major country requires pre-approval for cosmetics. Further, she stated that, “DEP [(INCI: Diethylhexyl Phthalate)] is used in shampoo, lotion and deodorants.”