Congress debates FDA role in safety review of personal care products

SILVER SPRING, Md. —The Personal Care Products Council announced in July that it is working to create formal processes for the Food and Drug Administration to review ingredients of personal care products for safety at the request of the public and stakeholder groups, and to review all safety determinations made by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review expert panel.

However, roughly a week after the news, Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., introduced the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 (H.R. 5786). The new bill would, if passed, reform law on ingredients in personal care products.

Responding to the proposed legislation, the council, while acknowledging a need to modernize the regulatory structure of the cosmetics industry, said the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 as written “is not based on credible and established scientific principles” and would place an “enormous, if not impossible, burden on [the] FDA.”

The council’s five-point plan includes enhanced FDA registration, new processes to set safety levels for trace constituents, new FDA ingredient review processes, new FDA oversight of CIR expert-panel findings and FDA-issued good manufacturing practices.

“We urge Congress to carefully consider our recently announced proposals to strengthen FDA cosmetics oversight, including FDA ingredient reviews, and encourage the passage of the FDA Globalization Act of 2009, sponsored by Rep. John Dingell, which also includes enhanced FDA regulations of cosmetics manufacturers. Our proposals and Rep. Dingell’s legislation constitute the strongest, most efficient and viable approach to modernizing the FDA regulation of cosmetics, increasing transparency and enhancing existing consumer safeguards as science and technology evolve,” stated Lezlee Westine, president and CEO of the Personal Care Products Council.

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