Government Funding Increase--A Step Toward Globalization?

The US House Committee on Appropriations recently approved a US$2 million increase for the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Cosmetics and Colors. The Office of Cosmetics and Colors (OCAC), according to the FDA, has directed increasing efforts toward issues related to the cosmetic market on many levels--including internationally. 

The increase could establish a foundation leading to increased consumer confidence and, according to The Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association's (CTFA) president and CEO Pamela Bailey, "capacity for enforcement, oversight and development of global safety standards for personal care products."

"We are pleased that the House Committee on Appropriations voted to increase FDA funding for consumer protection," said Bailey, in a press announcement. "Our products literally touch nearly every American every day. Through strong regulatory oversight, made possible by this $2 million increase, consumer confidence in the safety of their products will remain high."

She added that consumer safety is the priority of more than 1,000 cosmetic and personal care product companies and that over the years, these companies have worked with the FDA to establish a partnership in which companies go beyond the requirements of the law to provide additional safety and technical resources and information.

"[CTFA's] strong partnership with FDA has been put at risk because the Office of Cosmetics and Colors has shrunk to an insufficient level," commented Bailey, in the press statement. "This increase will enhance consumer protections and provide the cosmetics office with much needed inspectors and compliance officers. ... This funding increase [also] will allow critical FDA participation in international discussions to develop the best and most encompassing global protections and regulations for consumers everywhere."

Globalization has been a key focus within the personal care industry. From globalizing sunscreen test methods, to the terminology found on labels, the industry has sought to harmonize. The approval of this funding could prove to be a key turning point within the personal care industry, especially in the United States, since the OCAC interacts heavily on key issues in the industry by: participating in workshops to help government officials and members of industry in other countries understand US laws and regulations; developing lines of communication to government agencies in other countries; responding to industry requests regarding the harmonization of ingredient nomenclature; and exploring areas where US requirements match those of other countries so that harmonization can be accomplished.

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