WASHINGTON -- As the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association celebrates its centennial this year, it is concentrating on coalition-building, globalization and bolstering its lobbying efforts on the state level.

"Twenty years ago, the association was an organization that just sent out newsletters...and dealt with just a couple of issues," said Edward Kavanaugh, who since 1983 has been president of the association, which is based here.

"Now, because of a more competitive environment and other factors, the CTFA has taken on a more proactive position. We also know we can't work alone."

For a long time, CTFA's battlegrounds had been limited to Congress, the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration, Kavanaugh said. Now, the battlegrounds have expanded both ways -- locally and beyond the U.S. borders.

For the past 12 years, much of the activity has been from the states, in particular California.

Such issues have included packaging and limits on the volatile organic compounds of certain personal care products, as well as animal testing, though that debate has been relatively quiet for the past two years.

On the international front, the association is working with the cosmetics associations of such countries as Japan, China, and Thailand -- areas of hot growth for U.S. cosmetic companies -- to set uniform regulation standards.

CTFA is also working with COLIPA, the European trade association, on developing the nomenclature to be used in Europe to satisfy new requirements of the European Community Directive, as well as for ingredient listing similar to what is already employed in the U.S.

Adding to the complex scenario is the first Democratic administration in more than a decade. One discouraging sign early on of the Clinton administration, Kavanaugh said, was its elimination of the Competitive Council, which serves as a watchdog to burdensome regulations on businesses.

"The Nineties are going to have a different climate from the Eighties," said Kavanaugh, who said he is still taking a wait-and-see attitude on the Clinton team. "Now, we're seeing our safeguards disappearing."

However, the association is looking to the administration for uniformity and hopes it will move forward with national, albeit non-burdensome, regulations on packaging and VOC limits on consumer products, which would supersede the encroaching state regulations.

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