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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.
page 5 of 5
What about the cosmetics industry? In this author’s opinion, the PCPC’s Consumer Commitment Code really lacks two important additions. One is that all companies should comply with all FDA regulations, which is especially true with regard to ingredient labeling. Marketers tend to ignore the regulations, probably enticed by the lack of enforcement by the FDA, and then wonder why the industry is under attack. When these same marketers try the same thing in Canada and the EU, where labeling regulations are enforced, they are shocked by this enforcement.
The second addition to the PCPC code should be for all companies to refrain from promoting their products as being free from certain ingredients. When competitors make “free-from” claims to give the impression that certain ingredients are unsafe, since the industry is self-regulated, all this does is beg Congress to pass a law requiring the pre-approval of all cosmetic ingredients—and just look at how long the industry has tried to gain approval for new colors or new UV filters that have been around for 30 years. Currently, the time and costs involved for the FDA to approve new ingredients essentially means no new ingredients. While writing the present column, this author heard an ad from one of the largest members of the PCPC claiming that their new shampoo is “sulfate-free,” giving the impression of greater safety. This is self-defeating since their other shampoos contain lauryl and laureth sulfate surfactants, and by the same token must therefore be “unsafe.” In this author’s view, it is also strange that the code requires companies to make available the safety data on their ingredients that has not been submitted to the CIR. Why has this safety data not been submitted to the CIR in the first place? Would it not be better to support the CIR by submitting the data?
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1. DC Steinberg, Regulatory review: California update, Cosm & Toil 119 (11) 36-43 (Nov 2004)
2. DC Steinberg, Regulatory review: California revisited, Cosm & Toil 120 (10) 52-60 (Oct 2005)
3. www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/cosmetics/Documents/chemlist.pdf (accessed Apr 6, 2010)
4. www.leg.state.co.us/CLICS/CLICS2010A/csl.nsf/fsbillcont3/ 399D0F36FF7CAE54872576BD006FDDEC?Open&file=1248_01.pdf (accessed Apr 6, 2010)
5. http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_14488922 (accessed Apr 6, 2010)
6. DC Steinberg, 2005 Preservatives use: Frequency report and registration, Cosm & Toil 121 65 (Jul 2006) 7. CIR, JACT 4(3) 267-303 (1985)