Thursday, July 29, 2010

As If I Don't Have Enough To Worry About

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.

Thank you!


  1. Oh No! It's not just you - there are a lot of soap crafters out there that are really going to suffer because of this - "No to HR 5786!"

  2. My answers to the out of control, crazed, and narcissistic government is that this is none of their business. I WILL NOT CONFORM!

  3. Angie, it won't stop there either. Last time they tried to pass a bill like this in Colorado and some big names were there, like Avon and Mary Kay. It will be a nightmare for everyone!
    Michelle in NV

    Anonymous, sometimes I think, I don't mess with their business, why do they have to mess with mine? I understand being safe and using methods to produce a good product, but what they want isn't going to give that to them.

  4. Don't worry - you have advocates on your behalf that are working hard on this for you. Myself, Donna Maria (Indie Beauty Network), Leigh O'Donnel (Soap Guild), Kayla from Essential Wholesale and more. We are writing letters, calling, faxing and doing a lot of stuff behind the scenes to advocate for small businesses. This bill isn't even up for a vote and I am hopeful that either it does not get up for a vote or when it does that it has specific provisions for small business in there that are workable for even the smallest of the small businesses. =)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.