Reps. Jan Schakowsky (IL), Ed Markey (MA) and Tammy Baldwin (WI) introduced legislation that would toughen safety standards for cosmetics and give the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to check personal care products for harmful ingredients. Current law allows the FDA to defer decisions about ingredient safety to the cosmetic industry. In other words, the cosmetic industry is regulating itself. According to the Campaign for Safe cosmetics, provisions in the legislation will:
- Phase out ingredients linked to cancer, birth defects and developmental harm;
- Create a health-based safety standard that includes protections for vulnerable populations, like children;
- Close labeling loopholes by requiring full ingredient disclosure on product labels, web sites;
- Give workers access to information about unsafe chemicals in personal care products;
- Require data-sharing to avoid duplicative testing;
- Provide funding to the FDA so it has the resources it needs to provided effective oversight; and
- Level the playing field so small businesses can compete fairly.
Editor's Note: As of November 2012 this bill has not passed yet.