On Wednesday, July 21, The Healthy Beauty Project was on the press teleconference concerning The Safe Cosmetics Act 2010. Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., introduced the bill (H.R.5786), which gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate the $50 billion cosmetics industry. At present, the industry in America is self regulated, which in the opinion of many, is not working in the best interest of consumer’s health. As discussions concerning toxic ingredients and deceptive labeling are heating up, the bill is gathering strong supporters and outspoken critics.
And small, independent beauty brands are wondering will the bill adversely affect their businesses.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, along with several other prominent non-profits, is behind the effort to see this bill passed.
We decided to catch up with someone close to the front lines concerning the bill and ask questions. Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the author of Not Just a Pretty Face, agreed to speak with us.
HBP: Thank you so much for taking time for this interview. I know you must be crazed right now.
Ms. Malkan: Yes, I’m definitely busy. I’ve just had a radio interview for the past hour. And I’ve not eaten lunch yet.
HBP: Okay, I promise to be brief. I have just a few questions regarding The Safe Cosmetics Act. I know you’re heavily involved with this bill. And you must have seen some of the things being said over the internet about it – both positive and negative. Do you honestly believe this is the time to get this bill passed? There are so many other issues going on right now in Congress.
Ms. Malkan: There’s no question Congress is a tough climate right now, but I believe the system can work. I think this issue has a chance of getting through because so many people care about it. So many women care about it. As women, we don’t understand how much power we have. We are the largest voter. And spender – 75 cents from each dollar is spent by a woman. We have tremendous power. Another reason I think this bill will pass is it’s part of a broader effort to reform chemicals. This has been building momentum for the last decade. Now is the time and this is the bill.
HBP: I saw The Story of Cosmetics. There are studies out there on toxic ingredients in beauty products. This is real. But some critics are worried about having the government regulate these issues. Do you think this is something that possibly could be handled without government intervention? What if other stores did what Whole Foods recently did – create store policies about labeling and refuse to sell products that can’t back their claims with third party verification? To read the rest, go here.