Since starting this blog and my journey with Beautycounter, the startling difference between the regulations in the EU and the US really stuck with me. Having spent time in France during college, I know that while culturally different, the EU and the US are vary similar. Science, logic, and reason are valued in both places, so how can the two governing bodies look at the same safety data and come to different conclusions baffles me. We’re making progress though- recently Beautycounter updated their statistics from 1400 banned in chemicals in the EU versus 11 in the US to the new stat of 30 banned chemicals in the US. The change represents the recent Triclosan ban, along with a few others. Progress indeed, but certainly not the end of the road- 1,370 to go!
The Personal Care Products Safety Act would require the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate a minimum of five ingredients each year that are used in personal care products, to determine their safety and appropriate use, and then provide companies with clear guidance about acceptable concentration levels and whether consumer warnings are needed. It’s currently a little stuck in congress- I wrote my congressmen (sadly, all men in Vermont) and got this interesting response from Senator Sanders (you might know him as Bernie):
Where I have some issues with the bill is the funding mechanism for the ingredient review process. The legislation would have the FDA collect user-fees from personal care products manufacturers, similar to what is done for medications and medical devices. However, the pharmaceutical and medical device industries are completely dominated by huge multi-national corporations – there is no equivalent cottage industry of small, local personal care product manufactures that use natural products.
While I would hate to see small businesses stressed, I argue that the Beauty industry is also dominated by huge multi-national corporations. Revlon, L’Oreal, Maybeline… I think they have the funds to support the testing, and also, how’s this for radical- let’s use the testing already done for the EU. Let’s encourage these billion dollar companies to voluntarily clean up their products. Let’s spend our money with companies like Beautycounter that are working not only to develop high performing and safer products.
Let’s join together and make our voices heard. Support companies that align with your values and who support others through their business model. Questions? Shoot me an email and ask away!