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PCPC Focuses on National Legislation

The organization has been working on a bipartisan piece of legislation expected to be ready in early March.

The Personal Care Products Council is on its way down a bipartisan legislative path.

Ahead of the group’s annual meeting in West Palm Beach, Fla., the organization stressed its focus on federal, state and international regulations — all of which are a works in progress, according to PCPC chief executive officer Lezlee Westine.

Legislation is just one of many topics to be discussed at the PCPC annual meeting Feb. 25 to 28. During that time, Thia Breen, formerly of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., will give her last remarks as the organization’s chair, and a new chair will be announced. Topics of discussion include President Trump’s impact on the personal-care industry, beauty and data and the future of beauty.

Since last year’s annual meeting, PCPC has been working on “moderniz[ing] the federal regulatory oversight, and is “hopeful that this year we will be able to pass legislation,” Westine said.

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“We’ve been working in a bipartisan fashion — the industry first of all came together several months ago and developed a set of principles…after we developed those principals, we worked very closely in a bipartisan way up on the Hill,” Westine said. “In fact, we anticipate the end of next week that a bipartisan draft piece of legislation will be coming out.”

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“We anticipate that a month or two after the Senate drops their legislation that the House will act,” Westine said.

The legislation is based on the principals that PCPC came up with, including creating a national program for FDA regulation for cosmetics in the U.S. that would preempt state and local laws, requiring manufacturers to substantiate safety of cosmetics products and ingredients, creating a FDA program authorized to review individual ingredients in cosmetics, establishing mandatory foreign and domestic manufacturing registration and ingredient reporting by manufacturers, requiring reporting to the FDA of unexpected adverse health events from cosmetics products, authorizing the FDA to issue good manufacturing practices for the industry and establishing certain exemptions.

Westine said she anticipates mandatory registration and ingredient reporting by manufacturers, as well as an issues of good manufacturing practices for cosmetics and reporting by manufacturers to the FDA of unexpected adverse health events are likely outcomes should the legislation go through.

Asked about regulatory legislation in the current U.S. political climate, Westine reiterated the legislation’s bipartisan support. “We’ve really gotten strong support from both the Republicans and the Democrats,” she said. “That’s one of the most important things that we wanted was to make sure that it’s bipartisan so regardless of the Senate or the House, where they end up being after the mid-terms, that we’ll still have a lot of champions and supporters in D.C.”

The organization is also working “on the global regulatory harmonization space” — to align regulation in different countries, essentially, so it is easier for beauty and personal-care businesses to do business on a global scale, Westine said. More than 300 pieces of state legislation are also in the works, according to Westine.

“When you’re a company that is really sourcing your ingredients and packaging worldwide, your marketing and retailing and producing everywhere around the world, supply chains are very, very complex,” said Francine Lamoriello, executive vice president of global strategies at PCPC. “One of the biggest barriers to being able to effectively manage all of that are different systems regulations, trade barriers in different countries which make it difficult to be the most efficient.”

The group also continually updates its global resources for member companies, Lamoriello noted. “We are very active on education and assistance to our members to make sure they know what they have to do to be compliant with policies in other countries,” she said.

PCPC has also been working on communication related to its various initiatives, under the direction of Lisa Powers, executive vice president of public affairs and communications for PCPC. “It is important to make sure that the industry is positioned appropriately,” she noted.

The focus has been on education around issues like product and ingredient safety, science and on communicating where the key stakeholders are — which increasingly, is online. The group is working on an update for the PCPC organization web site, and has updated, a science and safety web site that Powers says has increasing web traffic.

“It speaks to the issue of transparency and where consumers are going for information,” Power said. “People want to know what’s in their products and why those ingredients are in their products.”