I make safe cosmetics and believe in safe cosmetics. Creating cosmetics that are natural and safe for my skin is why I created my company, Susan’s Soaps & More 10 years ago. So why do I feel attacked by the introduction of the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010?
Maybe it’s because it would most likely put small cosmetics companies like myself out of business. Or perhaps it’s because instead of allowing more natural ingredients into cosmetics, it would instead restrict or eliminate them. Or could it be that it would require privately held companies to not only disclose their gross income but also all of their vendors and suppliers. Maybe, it has to do with the requirement of companies that have over 1 Mil in revenues being required to pay an open-ended amount of fees to subsidize all this extra work that will be created for the FDA. Even though Susan’s Soaps & More won’t have to directly pay the fees as we are waaay under that 1 Mil benchmark many of our suppliers will, resulting in increased materials costs and the need for higher prices.
The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 is a poorly written and confusing piece of legislation that is overreaching and yet does not accomplish the objectives as stated by it’s supporters. Speaking of it’s supporters – I have to wonder at their motivation. Are they simply trying to protect all consumers or are they motivated by darker needs for control and power? If protecting consumers is the goal, while trying to allow for small business (as they stated) then why are they promoting their cause with a video that is more about scare tactics than fact? (I mean come on, who wants to allow babies to be hurt? No one!) Why not, instead, a well thought out campaign to restrict specific ingredients that have been proven to be harmful if topically applied at specified concentrations? But no, the supporters of this bill remind me more of the frenzy generated during the Salem witch hunts or the McCarthy era.
Both of these periods were characterized by a few individuals who destroyed many with accusations that were leveled without adequate evidence. Unfortunately, I see similarities between those episodes in our history and the SCA 2010. Nobody wanted witches putting curses on them, just as nobody wanted spies giving away secrets to the communists, just as nobody wants unsafe cosmetics. The cause itself is unassailable – it’s the methods used that are unacceptable. It’s also of note that history seems to indicate that the individuals fostering the panic enjoyed and encouraged the power and control that such a position brought them. I am concerned that the same situation exists now with those behind the non-science based accusations being hurled at the cosmetic industry today.
I don’t want a simple blog post to become a entire dissertation and so I will get into more specific details in future posts. In closing I simply would like reiterate a few simple truths and then list some links where you can read more for yourself. I urge you to inform yourself about this pending piece of legislation and if you find yourself opposed please weigh in and make yourself heard. It is after all the American Way!
Other truths about the American Way:
- Our justice system is founded on the concept of innocent until proven guilty. The witch hunts, McCarthyism and SCA2010 take the opposite approach. We have always thoroughly researched and tested our products. Now we could have to pay for independent testing to prove product safety to the government, effectively putting us out of business. (Read here the story of legislation passed and its catastrophic effect on the handmade toy industry.)
- Our founding fathers believed so strongly in the concept of personal freedoms that they insisted on adding an additional 10 amendments to the constitution, otherwise known as the Bill of Rights. Forcing private companies to divulge private business information simply to have that information made public goes completely against that founding principle.
- The USA has been built on a foundation of entrepreneurship beginning with original pilgrims, moving on to the pioneer farmers and continuing through today with companies like Apple and Burt’s Bees that began in someone’s garage or cabin. SCA 2010 is a death knoll for entrepreneurs in the cosmetics industry and even worse perhaps a harbinger of more government control across all industries.
Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 Read it for yourself (pdf format)
Indie Beauty Blog on Oppose SCA2010 Indie Beauty official position and updates on SCA 2010
Sign the Petition to Oppose SCA2010 At the time of this post there were 2,523 signatures!
Vote Opposed in the Open Congress poll View bill sponsors, posted comments and log your vote.
Critique of the “Story of Cosmetics” video See the facts behind the fiction.