This bill, The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010' (H.R. 5786), was introduced this week by Democrat Representatives Scharkowsky (Illinois), Markey (Massachusetts) and Baldwin (Wisconsin). You can read all 47 pages here. It has not been voted on yet, and I need your help. Please don't support this legislation. It may be well-meaning but is written in such a way that I won't be able to stay in business because I won't be able to keep up with the requirements.
Here are the reasons I, and other business owners in the handmade sector, do not support the bill.
1. The cosmetic industry, which includes my soap, has a huge variety of choice for customers. It is already illegal to not show contact information and ingredients on labels. That makes this bill unnecessary.
2. This bill would handicap small manufacturing businesses, that would be ME! I would not be able to keep up with the reporting requirements! I am a one woman show!
3. The reporting requirements would ask your annual sales, number of employees and even the names and addresses of your vendors. I must have over 100 vendors, some I buy ONE small ingredient from, but they are the only ones to carry it.
4. 'Detectable' trace elements must be included on labels. Since almost everything is detectable, labeling will be confusing to end consumers (even more than it is already). So, "Water" on a label would look like "Aqua, Arsenic, Cadmium, Copper, Lead, Nickel, Silver, Zinc" (boy I would hate to see the label I would have to print, our water is well water and our county is all ag, I bet there is enough methane to blow up the state!).
5. Ingredients that are considered carcinogenic when ingested (eaten) will be unable to be used in skin care products. You can still eat them, you just could not put them on your skin. Like an apple, they contain small amount of cyanide, so you can eat them but they could not go into a face mask.
6. While I use a basic soap formula that took me years to develop to perfection :) I like to experiment. This morning I made a soap with Cocoa Butter, 5 Fold Vanilla Essential Oil, and dark Cocoa Powder. With the new bill ingredient listing and registration information must be listed for each and every cosmetic, soap, lotion and potion made up, it does not allow for changing of formulas without creating a paperwork nightmare.
7. There is no full exemption for small businesses, who often are on a strict budget to bring their creations to you, for an affordable price.
SierraSnowSoaps opposes this draft legislation as written. Please help by writing your Representative opposing this legislation as it is currently written (not sure who your Rep is? Click here to find out!). Let them know you do not support a bill that will affect so many in the handmade Bath and Body industry.