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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Petition to Oppose HR 5786: The Safe Cosmetics Act

In the last couple of posts we've shared information and links with you regarding The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010. Today we encourage you to take action!

Whether you currently have a business in the Handcrafted Industry, are considering one in the future, or simply a consumer who enjoys buying handcrafted products from small businesses, this will affect you.

If you oppose this draft legislation as written, please take the time to write your Representative explaining how this bill will affect you.

Click the following link to sign the Petition to Oppose HR 5786: The Safe Cosmetics Act
Oppose HR 5786: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010

We hope you will join us in supporting businesses in the Handcrafted Industry by voicing your opinion.

Thank you!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The HSMG Stand on The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010

The following informative article was posted on the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild Blog. The Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild, Inc. is an international non-profit professional trade association promoting the handcrafted soap industry. Click here to find out more about the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild Inc.

Legislative Update
On July 20th, The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 (H.R. 5786) was introduced by representatives Schakowsky (D-IL), Markey (D-MA) and Baldwin (D-WI). [Read the entire bill (47 pages)].

This bill is intended to amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to ensure the safe use of cosmetics, and for other purposes. IF the bill passed in this format, this is what if would mean for your business:

Who does this bill affect?

• Any establishment located in any state that manufactures, packages or distributes cosmetics.
• Any foreign establishment that exports cosmetics to the United States without further processing or packaging outside the United States.

(This means the bill will affect you IF you are making soap that qualifies as a cosmetic.)

How will it affect your business?

Mandatory Registration
Any establishment as defined above will have to register with the Secretary (the FDA) by providing the following information:
• Name
• Address
• Trade Names
• Description of Activities
• Number of Workers Employed
• Gross receipt of Sales
• Names and Addresses of any suppliers of ingredients
Any changes to the registration will be made within 60 days. Once the registration is completed the establishment will be assigned a registration number. The FDA will maintain a list of establishments that are registered and portions this list will become public information. Any establishment that fails to provide complete information of fails to register will be removed or suspended.

(Currently the FDA has a Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program (VCRP). This bill would make registration mandatory and require further information.)

Registration Fees
A fee schedule will be determined by the FDA. All companies with annual gross receipts of less than $1M will not be assessed a fee.

(Although the fees are unlikely to directly affect you, it may affect your suppliers or their suppliers and may have a trickle down affect to the end user.)

Product Labeling
All products will be labeled with the name of each ingredient in descending order of predominance. A contaminant or trace element is not required to be listed if the contaminant is present at levels below technically feasible detection limits.

All products sold in e-Commerce would be required to have an ingredient list on the website as well as the product label. This includes the establishment's website as well as the websites of their distributors.

List of Ingredients
The FDA will keep a list of ingredients that are prohibited or restricted for use in cosmetics and continually update that list. The list will be ingredients that are known to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, or have reproductive and developmental toxicity, based on information from the following:

• The Environmental Protection Agency
• The International Agency for Research on Cancer
• The National Toxicity Program through the National Institutes of Health
• The California Environmental Protection Agency
• Other authoritative international, Federal, and State entities (as determined by the Secretary)
(It will be the responsibility of the manufacturer to keep up with what is on the list and what is added to the list, at this time it is not clear how this list will be maintained and in what format).

Safety Statements
Eighteen months after the date of enactment of the Act, each manufacturer shall submit a statement signed by the CEO, based on available information after a good faith inquiry, that -

• The cosmetic and its ingredients meet the safety standard; or
• There is insufficient data to determine whether the cosmetic and its ingredients meet the safety standard.
(The safety statement will be required for each product that you sell; it is not clear what is done in the case of a product that has insufficient data).

Registration of Products
Each manufacturer shall submit electronically each cosmetic manufactured in the establishment that is intended to be marketed in the United States a statement containing:

• The registration number of the manufacturing establishment;
• The registration number of the establishment responsible for distributing the cosmetic;
• The brand name and the product name for the cosmetic;
• The applicable use for the cosmetic;
• The ingredient list as it appears on the cosmetic label of insert, including the particle size of any nanoscale cosmetic ingredients;
• Any warnings and directions for use from the cosmetic label or insert; and
• The title and full contact information for the individual responsible for submitting and maintaining such statements.
Any changes must be made in a timely manner and notification will be made to the Secretary. Each statement will be assigned a cosmetic statement number by the Secretary upon submission.

(This means EVERY product that you manufacture and market to the public which will limit your ability to change and try new products on short notice).

Reporting of Adverse Health Effects
All reports of adverse health effects shall be made within 15 business days of the event. The content of the report shall include:

• An identifiable patient.
• An identifiable report.
• A suspect cosmetic.
• A serious and unexpected adverse event.

Confidential Information
All information submitted to the Secretary shall be deemed public information and nonconfidential with the exception of the concentration of cosmetic ingredients used in a finished cosmetic.

Position of the HSMG

At the 2010 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, the membership passed a legislative advocacy statement:

The position of The Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild is to act as an advocate in all areas that affect the manufacture, sale and distribution of handcrafted soap as defined by HSMG Policy 2005-04-28 Position Statement. Handcrafted soap under these definitions can be either a soap or a cosmetic depending upon how it's formulated and labeled.

The FDA's website has a page with a very good definition of whether your soap is a soap or a cosmetic. To re-educate yourself click here.

It is the position of the HSMG that The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010:
• Is poorly written and confusing.
• Places too much of a financial burden on small business.
• Over regulates an already safe industry.
• Destroys the creativity and flexibility of small handcrafted soap manufacturers.
• Creates further job loss and loss of local revenue in already tough economic times.
Therefore, the HSMG is against H.R. 5786 The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 as written.

Additional Information

This information has also been posted to the HSMG Blog and I would welcome your comments there.

The HSMG will be monitoring the progress of this bill and making our voice heard in Washington. Additional information will be posted to the blog and sent out to members as it becomes available.

Kindest regards,

Leigh O'Donnell,
President, HSMG
President@SoapGuild.org

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010

The following is a well written article regarding the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 by Donna Maria Coles Johnson CEO and Founder of Indie Beauty & Indie Business Network. We encourage you to visit her web site, http://indiebeauty.com/, and consider joining IBN, the social networking site for small and independent business owners and the people who love them!

Dear IBN Members:
I write to advise you that, earlier today, the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 was introduced by Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc. (Link to PDF of legislation.)

As I understand it, this proposed legislation was drafted in large part by the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics (CFSC), which as you may know published a video today entitled “The Story Of Cosmetics.” You can see the video and read my brief commentary about it here.

As you might imagine, this is quite a comprehensive piece of legislation, far more involved than anything we’ve addressed before. I am still reading through it. I don’t have any advocacy points or discussion points at this time because I don’t want to prematurely draw any conclusions, but I want you to be thinking about at least these things because we will soon have to create and circulate our position:

1. Read the legislation (PDF link here), with an eye toward understanding how it will impact how you do business. What new requirements would it impose on you as a manufacturer of cosmetics? What new costs would you likely incur, such as new employees, testing equipment etc.

2. What outlets do you have in place to tell your story when the time comes? Your blog? YouTube? FaceBook? Etc. At some point, we will need to call on members to publicly share their stories of how the legislation will impact their businesses, and also what you as a business owner would propose as an alternative to the legislation as drafted.

3. If you are a signer of the Compact For Safe Cosmetics, this legislation does not affect you any differently from the way it affects anyone else, but it might be an interesting exercise to search through the email communications you have received from CFSC to see if they asked for your input on this legislation. I for one am quite curious about this.

4. If you know of any small business owner anywhere that operates in a regulated industry that has any kind of exemption for small business owners, please post the information to the (link: discussion area) I set up at our private networking site. It can be any industry, anywhere, state or federal. We may be able to use such exemptions in other areas in our advocacy. (If you volunteered to help us find such exemptions, stay tuned for a separate email from me.)

5. If you are one of the IBN members who does not make cosmetics, but who loves using artisan and Indie-made cosmetics, and maybe provide services to those companies, please consider collaborating with your “Indies In Arms” to help your cosmetics manufacturer colleagues address this legislation. It’s obviously too soon yet to make public statements because we still have to read and analyze the legislation, but we can begin supporting one another generally now on FaceBook, Twitter, etc., just by encouraging each other with updates of support for small businesses generally.

CFSC is hosting a briefing on Capitol Hill on July 23 at 9:00am in the Rayburn House Office Building. If you are in DC this Friday, it would be a good idea for you to attend, ask questions, etc. IBN is sending a representative, but I think the more small businesses in attendance generally, the better. You can see the announcement and details about the briefing here.

If you decide to go, please let me know via email so I can connect you with everyone else who I know that may be going, and you can connect with each other there. Also if you plan to go, be sure to call the number at the bottom of the announcement to get your name on the RSVP list. I am told that it will be heavily attended, and that even though it does not start until 9:00, anyone wishing to get in should be there around 8:15.

I do not have anything more to report at this time, but I have opened a discussion at our private member social networking site so members can discuss and share here. If you cannot access that link, email reply me a request to send you another invitation to join us there. Feel free to use it, but please keep in mind that questions cannot be fully answered at this time because no one has had time to read the Act.

Please do not send any email questions in response to this message as I cannot keep up with the ones I am already receiving. If you post to the forum link, I can easily see everything at once and we can talk there.

I will host a member conference call sometime quite soon to address issues, but that probably won’t happen before the end of next week. Meanwhile, let’s connect at the private forum.

I am honored to serve you.

dM

Sincerely,
DONNA MARIA COLES JOHNSON
CEO + Founder: Indie Beauty & Indie Business Network

Social Network   Twitter   FaceBook

Monday, July 5, 2010

Introduction...

INTRODUCING…WILLOW’S WONDERINGS…

Soapequipment.com, a division of Willow Way LLC is happy to introduce our new blog for the Handcrafted Industry. Our sole purpose is to provide readers with beneficial information on equipment, tools, and products for Soap, Skin Care, and Candle Making in addition to tips on taking your hobby to the next level…starting your own Handcrafted Business. We hope to provide you with an avenue to convey your thoughts and ideas as well as post questions.


We will also be sharing important news about the Handcrafted Industry. Check back often to read about articles, events or legislation that are or will be affecting our industry, The Handcrated Body Care Industry. Because we are not alone, and work and live in a symbiotic world, you may find information concerning other pursuits, Candle, Cosmetics, Herbs, etc.

This blog will include an array of things from articles, to equipment and product reviews, pictures, recipes, and links to other blogs and beneficial sites.