Since the implementation of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act of 1938, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has only banned nine cosmetic chemicals. Until now, not much has changed with the law. The controversy prompted members of the Congress to raise the initiative to regulate more cosmetic chemicals.
Economists said that the cosmetics industry comprise $60 billion of the US market. The FDA does not impose strict rules regarding cosmetic chemicals. The government body mentioned that they only ban products which contain adulterated or misbranded merchandise.
As defined by the FDA, refers to violations regarding product composition, it involves how manufacturers handled the products from the time they make them until it reaches the market. Meanwhile, misbranding relates to matters regarding the product label such as lack of product information.
However, the department comments that its jurisdiction over cosmetics differs from other products such as drugs and medical devices. The law provides that the FDA does not have to approve cosmetics before they go on the market except for color additives. Lipstick brand Lime Crime once became the subject of an FDA investigation because their products contained the ingredient.
The FDA is also lenient towards recalling products. It shared that they do not have the authority to pull out merchandise from the market. They, however, monitor such recalls and order companies to recall if they refuse to after receiving a written request from the regulating office.
To address the situation, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Susan Collins introduced the Personal Care Product Safety Act in May 2017. This proposal calls on the FDA to inspect at least five chemicals a year. It would also require manufacturers to place all product information on its label and the product’s website.
Aside from control, the bill also emphasizes the need for companies to pay fees that FDA could use for safety studies. The planned total for the department’s research amounts to $20 million per year.
Legislators also contend that the US needs to regulate many cosmetic chemicals just like the European Union. The EU bans over a thousand ingredients from health products and cosmetics. They also said that the FDA, and not the consumers, are responsible for scrutinizing product contents.