Senators Dianne Feinstein and Susan Collins have introduced a bill that would allow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the safety of beauty products. In the United States beauty products are only very loosely regulated. The FDA must approve color additives and, through the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, the FDA acts to prevent misbranded or adulterated products from entering the market. However, this is a far cry from how the production of cosmetics is controlled in other countries. For instance, in the European Union, the latest update of their Cosmetics Regulation addresses increased safety requirements, the reporting of serious undesirable side effects, and new rules for the use of nanomaterials in cosmetics.
Called the Personal Care Products Safety Act, the bill would increase the oversight the FDA has over the many beauty products that enter the market each year. At present, such products do not need FDA approval before being sold. The legislation would enable the FDA to issue regulations for good manufacturing practices and recalls for products. It would require that complete ingredient lists be printed on labels as well as online. It would also require labels that indicate if the product is suitable for children. The bill also mandates that the FDA test at least five ingredients every year for consumer safety.
Standards for Personal Care Products Remain Unchanged
Senator Feinstein said that the current safety rules are 80 years old and urgently need to be updated. Personal care products are used by everyone from babies to senior citizens, and consumers should know exactly what is in them and if any risk exists when using them. At present, none of the individual ingredients are evaluated as to their safety and effectiveness.
As soon as the bill was introduced it garnered support of some of the major cosmetic companies including L’Oréal, Revlon, Procter and Gamble, Estée Lauder, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, and Honest Company. Consumer groups such as the Society for Women’s Health Research, the National Psoriasis Foundation, and the Endocrine Society also announced their support.
Honest Company was hit two years ago with a class action lawsuit alleging that their products were misleadingly labeled and ineffective. In particular it named a sunscreen labeled SPF 30 as underperforming leaving users with severe sunburns. Other lawsuits followed one of which alleged that at least 41 Honest Company products are deceptively labeled as containing only natural, plant based, ingredients and no harsh chemicals. Since the term “natural” has never been defined by the FDA for cosmetics (or even for food) this is still a gray area, something the Personal Care Products Safety Act aims to change.
New Jersey Product Liability Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP Fight for the Consumers’ Rights to Safe ProductsAt Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP, we are committed to defending consumers’ rights to products that have been designed and tested to the highest safety standards. If you or someone you know has experienced an injury due to a defective product, our New Jersey product liability lawyers can help you determine your legal options. Call 732-777-0100 today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. From our offices in Edison, Toms River, and Red Bank, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout the state.