WASHINGTON — Under pressure from consumers and watchdog groups, the cosmetics industry’s main trade and lobbying group, the Personal Care Products Council, has asked Congress for more federal oversight of the industry and offered its own proposals to pending legislation.
The unusual move came amid widening consumer concerns about the regulation of thousands of ingredients used in cosmetics and personal care products.
The council sent letters on Thursday to the chairmen and ranking Republicans of committees in the House and Senate that oversee the Food and Drug Administration outlining measures it hopes to include in legislation intended to strengthen the authority of the FDA.
John Hurson, executive vice president for government affairs at the council, said the group primarily took the step because if consumers “have a question about this lotion being used, they will switch. It is a very easy market to pull them in a different direction.
“We think it is important for a structure to be in place to assure them [consumers] if there are questions about ingredients in a lot of products and also give them a way to get answers about the safety of ingredients by scientific review and by a respected agency like the FDA,” he said.
Hurson acknowledged there has been pressure from consumer advocates and others who have called into question the credibility of the regulations, and said the industry has been analyzing the regulatory structure of the FDA for the past three years.
Rep. John Dingell (D., Mich.) is the lead sponsor of a bill that has been introduced in the House that would mandate personal care product manufacturers to register all of the facilities where the products are made with the FDA, file product ingredient reports indicating all the ingredients used and report to the FDA any serious and unexpected events experienced by consumers.
“We have gone beyond those provisions [in the Dingell bill] and looked internally at the way the FDA reviews the ingredients in products,” Hurson said. “We felt we had to create a more streamlined and accountable system within the FDA with a clear timeline for decisions about the safety of ingredients.”
The council is calling for a new FDA ingredient review process regarding the safety of ingredients, a revamped method of setting safety levels for trace contaminants and FDA oversight of the findings of a nonprofit, independent panel that has been setting industry safety standards for more than 30 years.
The industry has relied on the findings of the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel, launched in 1976, by the leading industry trade group at the time, the FDA and the Consumer Federation of America.
Over the past 30 years, the panel has reviewed one-third of over 6,000 ingredients in use in thousands of products, Hurson said. The panel, comprised of academics, toxologists, dermatologists and doctors, sets the levels at which ingredients can be used and assesses their safety. The FDA participates as an observer in the deliberations.
“The issue is the industry is funding it, and we understand that concern,” Hurson said. “It is a new world out there where we have to be completely transparent and have integrity in the regulatory process.”
To that end, the council is calling on the FDA to review all the panels’ findings to determine if they were flawed.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty