FDA to Crack Down on Homemade Soap Makers

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http://healthimpactnews.com/2015/fda-to-crack-down-on-home-based-soap-makers/



Excerpts:

People who are trying to do good for their families and the planet by living a simple life based on traditional skills are facing yet another assault. Artisanal soap makers say new regulations, proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), will put them out of business.

The view of Sen. Feinstein and her corporate backers (listed below) is that the Personal Care Products Safety Act (Senate Bill S.1014) will make the world a safer place by scrutinizing “everything from shampoo and hair dye to deodorant and lotion.” She says the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act should be more progressive like laws in Europe rather than antiquated US regulations in effect since the 1930s.
- See more at: http://healthimpactnews.com/2015/fda-to-crack-down-on-home-based-soap-makers/#sthash.jJigXm0s.dpuf



I thought that some of our Soap Makers may need to keep an eye on this to see how it tracks and how it could impact them.
 

Steve85569

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What DD said!

We all need to contact our reps in congress and let them know how we feel about this! If we are silent it will go right through.

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s1014

This bill has been submitted to committee as of April 2015.


I want to say so much more but I won't. This is a family oriented forum.
 
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dixiedragon

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I just contacted my representative. Here's what I sent, edited from the letter posted by the HCA. The HCA letter was designed to be sent by its members. I'm not a member and I don't own a business or sell my stuff, but the letter had some good information that I wanted to include.

Cosmetic Legislation - Small Business Support
I am writing to urge you to oppose Senate Bill S.1014, the Personal Care Products Safety Act. It will crush small businesses with user fees and reporting requirements.

The Handmade Cosmetic Alliance (HCA) is an organization that advocates on behalf of nearly 300,000 primarily woman-owned small handmade cosmetic businesses. The HCA had several meetings over many months with the sponsor of S. 1014 and presented information to support small business exemptions similar to those in the 2011 Food Modernization Safety Act (FSMA). Sadly, a decision was made to use prescription drugs and medical device standards for small handmade cosmetic businesses.

This does not make sense. Soaps, lotions and scrubs made largely with food-grade ingredients found in any grocery store and are sold for topical use. Customers do not ingest them, nor are they used to treat medical conditions.

Please stand with small businesses that make handmade products using only ingredients the FDA deems safe. Please support necessary small business exemptions so that these companies can continue to make quality products, support families, and contribute to our economy.

As a consumer and a voter, I value the ability to buy handmade goods from people in my community. I hope that you value this as well.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Bear in mind, this might well be a forerunner for the transatlantic trade agreement, as the EU would never lower the cosmetic (including soap) regulations to be the same as in the US (that is to say, almost no regulation!) so they have to look at increasing the regulations over there.

It's that, or cosmetics are totally out of the trade agreement, which I can't see happening.
 

KristaY

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The Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild has been sending out emails with the updates to this bill. One of the issues that has stood out for me is that it will NOT affect home based soapmakers or those that gross less than 1 million dollars in annual sales. So it looks like they're trying to put more regulation on the large companies instead of the tiny ones. I might be completely wrong and misunderstood it so please correct me if anyone read it differently.
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
There's an ongoing thread over on the Dish forum about this issue, and from what I've been able to glean over there, it seems to be as Krista said in her post- they are not going after the little guys, but are going after the bigger fish that are raking in beaucoup bucks while making health/cosmetic claims on their products. http://www.thedishforum.com/forum/index.php?/topic/189529-have-you-seen-this-yet/


IrishLass :)
 

DeeAnna

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Since not everyone here belongs to The Dish, here are links to the actual bill. My thanks to Paradisi (The Dish member) for the links.

H.R.4075 - Cosmetic Modernization Amendments of 2015
Information about the bill except for the body: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/4075/all-info
Body of the bill: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/4075/text
PDF version: https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/hr4075/BILLS-114hr4075ih.pdf

I haven't studied the body of the bill in detail, but here are a couple of relevant quotes that may slow everyone down into thinking about this more productively. It's not the first time that the Guild has gone off half cocked, IMO. I've edited the language so it's readable by normal humans. Emphasis and words in brackets [ ] are mine.

***

"...every domestic and foreign establishment engaged in the manufacture of a cosmetic ... [shall] be registered with the Secretary within 60 business days after the first commercial sale of a cosmetic in the United States....

"Registration ... shall not be required for any entity ... operating as ...
(I) a handcrafted soap or cosmetic made in a home, a community facility, or a similar establishment; or
(J) a business with less than $1,000,000 annual net sales of cosmetics...."

"...every domestic establishment and foreign establishment engaged in the manufacture of a cosmetic intended to be sold in the United States ... except such cosmetics manufactured by entities exempted [above] ... [shall submit] a cosmetic and ingredient statement...."
 
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IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
Ditto what DeeAnna said. I'm reading the actual bill right now, and it is as DeeAnna said. There is nothing in there that says home soapmakers must be registered. As a matter of fact, it's the exact opposite,- it specifically says (in exemption I) that handcrafted soaps and cosmetics made in a home are exempt, as DeeAnna pointed out. And in exemption J, it also exempts businesses that are making less than $1,000,000 in annual net sales of cosmetics. I don't know of a single home handcrafter that's doing that much in sales! lol

According to Congress.Gov, as of 12/28/2015 there has been no related bill info received for HR 4075: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/4075/all-info


If that's the case, then why has the HCA started this letter writing campaign? I'm confused.
Near as I can tell, the letter-writing campaign is many months old, initiated last spring. Since then, the bill was changed to include the exemptions.


IrishLass :)
 
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DeeAnna

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The bill H.R.4075 was introduced to the House this past November.

I suspect the Guild campaign that started last spring might have been in response to a similar but separate Bill S.1014. This bill was introduced to the Senate in April, 2015.

The Senate bill, as introduced, exempts from registration:

"...“(G) domestic manufacturers with less than $100,000 in gross annual sales of cosmetic products..."

Info about S.1014 except for the body: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1014
Body of S.1014: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1014/text
 

kchaystack

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exemption J, it also exempts businesses that are making less than $1,000,000 in annual net sales of cosmetics. I don't know of a single home handcrafter that's doing that much in sales!
My only concern would be that it might effect Brambleberry, WSP, NG and other suppliers that provide ready made bases, so could see an increase in their prices.

Not that I think the regs are a bad idea in general. I would love to see Lush have to really own up to some of their claims.
 

DeeAnna

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The legislation is targeted at manufacturers, not resellers or distributors (in other words, not Brambleberry, since I don't think they manufacture). So whoever makes the bases would have to register and supply ingredients information, not the distributor.

"...every domestic and foreign establishment engaged in the manufacture of a cosmetic intended to be sold in the United States that is not exempt under subsection (e) [shall] be registered..."
 

Orchidgirl

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It's obviously not a big focus for their business, but I think Brambleberry does manufacture. I've seen loaves of soap and individual bars for sale on their site and came close to adding a few to my cart the last time I ordered from them (just prior to Christmas). If this legislation passes, I'm guessing BB will discontinue doing this, rather than going to the trouble of registering as a manufacturer? I like the idea of being able to get a bar of a nice soap as "instant gratification" when I go to order supplies. :(

Even if I'm not going to be directly affected by this (as a home soapmaker who neither sells nor intends to sell in the near future) I still find this legislation troubling. I'm just not a big fan of unnecessary government regs, and I don't think that the fact that a company makes x amount of dollars is any justification for "going after them," specifically.

And if it's the case, for example, that big cosmetic/soap companies like Lush are making bogus claims about their products, they should be punished under the existing laws that govern such things. IMO
 
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