Regulation POLICE!! And what they ACTUALLY will do!

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CookbookChef

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Hi, I was pondering something today after reading over several posts about getting the language right on the packaging. And then it occurred to me, "what exactly will the Regulation Police do if I get my wording wrong on any soap and skincare packaging I create and sell?". I mean, Ya, I am new at this, and have not fully understood the laws concerning each word I should use on my packaging as of yet, but saying that....is thier somebody sitting around just waiting to pounce on some new packaging error? In life, we have sting operations where a peace officer, or Policeman, will hide in between two buildings and radar scan for speeders!! Then they pounce out and pull them over just to make some quota for the police department. So, it got me thinking about the world of Soap and Skincare. If I sell some skincare item, say on ebay, make a Soap and then place my own label on it, claiming it is a cure of Acne, or any other type of claim, I was wondering just what would happen?? Is thier somebody scoping ebay and other online places, looking to see who messes up with their packaging claims or wording on packaging? And if so Just what will they do to me? To I get a warning to change my packaging? or will I get a Fine to pay, or will they haul me right into jail. Ya, being a bit weird here, but really and truthfully I was wondering just what they ...whoever the they is, just what they could do to me. First of, let me say that I am nor would I ever willingly try and decieve a customer. Nor would I purposefully try and ignore a law I know to be true. But saying that, I am not a lawyer...ha ha, and I might miss something along the way on my soaping adventure. So, saying that.....what if I do mess up, and say something on a label that is wrong. Is thier really somebody out their ready to pounce !!!Thank you very much, this might seem like a silly question, but to me, its not :Kitten Love::smile:
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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First of ALL, the best WAY not to miss anyTHING is to check out the FDA website. Not really much excuse for not knowing what is required when it is there. Not only that, but people here can help clear things up, so really no excuse!

I don't know if they actually check sellers out in that way, but rather respond to information from customers. "Hey Mr FDA, I bought this acne cure that did nothing!" and then they look in to it. You might well get unlucky and someone who actually works there happens to see your label just in daily life and it raises a question for them, but I think that is so rare that it makes no odds.

As far as I know, they will send a letter first of all indicated what is wrong and what needs to be done. They did it to doTerra and someone else recently, there was a thread about it in the CP section. I imagine that after that comes fines and so on, if you decide to ignore the requirements.

To be honest, I know over there things like regulation seem to get a hard time from what I read here on the forum, but I think that it is wrong to do so. You liken it to the police stopping people from breaking the law - speeding is a crime and saying "If I knew the police were there I would have slowed down" is meaningless. What other crimes is it okay for me to commit as long as I don't get caught? If you take the risk, you take your chances - both with speeding and labelling!
 

pamielynn

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"THEY" is the FDA/FTC, depending on what you mess up on.

You well and truly might get nasty backlash from others in our field, also. You shouldn't be selling anything if you don't care to look into how to properly label it, IMHO.

Are you going to be arrested because your weight is listed on the side panel and not the front? No. Is your listed weight incorrect? You run the risk of a very unhappy customer.

Do you want someone calling the Feds on you? No. More importantly, the more calls about homemade products increases the risk that the government will pass that restrictive (and expensive) legislation that they keep talking about and put us all out of business - including you. So, please make every effort to correctly label the product you sell. No, you're not going to JAIL, but there are consequences.
 
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shunt2011

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I agree with what Effy and Pamielynn are saying as well. I truly believe if you are going to have a business and expect it to be a reputable business you need to follow the requirements set forth. If you choose not to then you are not only doing your customers a disservice but yourself. You won't go to jail but you will hear from folks and there is a slight risk that you may hear from the FDA/FTC. Is it worth it??? Not to me it's not. I don't believe in doing things halfway. It's all or nothing if you are thinking about being a business. Othersiwise just stay a hobbyist.
 

lionprincess00

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They will seize all your merchandise through a protective order and stop production of it. They make no mention of a fine, but the legal costs of lifting the order may be a hefty penny for lawyers etc. Here's one example.
http://www.drugs.com/news/u-s-marshals-seize-products-flawless-beauty-53036.html

The fda tells you what they'll do here, at the bottom of this page.
http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/GuidanceRegulation/LawsRegulations/ucm074162.htm

The fda will be the most likely authority you'll be dealing with in that if mislabeled, you labeled soap a cosmetic through claims and didn't use inci names, or you made medical claims without proper testing and fda approval...both of which fall under fda authority.

Pretty big deal imo for small timers. All that money and effort thrown away and a legal battle to start back up. They give a warning letter first, though, I think and make you fix the problem. So you have an opportunity to correct it...unless it's very dangerous claims I would think.
 

CookbookChef

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Information well spoken Indeed!!! Yes, This is all this information I was wondering about and I thank the ones that took the time to write here. Yes, perfect information and very usable I would say!! I appreciate it greatly and this gives me more learning power right now, in the stage before selling!!!! Thank you so much and have a great day.

You never know who might else read this sometime, and get good advice here. Thanks again!!!:wave::p
 

aab1

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I haven't read all replies but they do go to extreme lengths to protect the criminal drug monopoly.

People that say their natural products cure a disease do regularly have their places of businesses raided with guns drawn, even if the claims are true and proven by dozens of independent studies.

On the other hand the criminal drug industry only has to have their products "proven" by a single study done by the repeat offense criminals that sell them. For example GlaxoSmithKline knew their drug Avandia would kill tens of thousands of people by causing heart attacks before it was even put on the market, but since drugs are only studied by the company that makes them to get approved, they falsified the study to hide the heart attacks. A few years later they got caught intentionally murdering over 100,000 diabetics and got a $3 Billion fine, and the criminals responsible were not jailed and are free to do it again, that's why prescription drugs the third leading cause of death and kill 305 000 people per year when properly prescribed and taken (more recent studies show it's now over 800,000, twice the deaths caused by cigarettes), they never need to be proven by any independent study, they are self-approved by repeat offense criminals that kill hundreds of thousands of people for their own financial gain.

It's a huge double standard, the reason is natural products can't be patented to create a monopoly meaning competition and low profit margins, while toxic prescription drugs can be patented to have over 550 000% profit markups and no competition, so drug companies are free to murder hundreds of thousands of people while the responsible criminals are free, but if you dare say that vitamin D3 prevents cancer (proven by hundreds of independent studies), expect to spend the rest of your life in jail.
 
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Seawolfe

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So the cancer treatment that I was on an independent clinical trial for (out of switzerland) that was later proven to increase survival rates by 50% and decrease recurrences by 50% was a total farce? And my mother who was a holistic health educator who chose to treat her cancer "naturally" and "holistically" was in the right, even though she died a horrible painful death? Good to know.
 

aab1

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So the cancer treatment that I was on an independent clinical trial for (out of switzerland) that was later proven to increase survival rates by 50% and decrease recurrences by 50% was a total farce? And my mother who was a holistic health educator who chose to treat her cancer "naturally" and "holistically" was in the right, even though she died a horrible painful death? Good to know.
Links/info to that study increasing survival 50%? You really couldn't possibly have given any less info, please provide the drug/product name, link to the study, who funded it.

Also, there is also obviously quackery in natural medicine as well, but science based natural treatments are incomparably more effective than drugs with none of the side effects and without killing hundreds of thousands of people per year.

I was myself given Crohn's disease from a company who, surprise surprise, knew full well their drug Accutane caused Crohn's disease and hid this to sell as much as possible, and it was a drug that would be taken mostly by children. Once I got Crohn's disease, they put me on a drug for which I only read the company insert years later, it's clearly admitted that there is absolutely no proof the drug works for Crohn's disease and that people that took it anyway got a cancer that's been fatal in all cases. I suffered with the disease for the 5 years I stupidly trusted the criminal medical monopoly. I also found ways to cure Crohn's disease with diet change have been proven for decades and I haven't had a single symptom of Crohn's disease in the 9 years since I changed my diet, compared to symptoms several times per week for the 5 years I was trusting repeat offense mass murdering criminals.

Modern medicine is interested in nothing more than making as much money as possible by making and keeping as many people as possible as sick as possible, and I can confirm it works very well. The criminals committing those crimes against humanity need to spend the rest of their life in prison as would be the case for anyone else knowingly killing thousands of people, but these criminals are above the law and get away with fines that are barely 1% of the money they make killing people,

I'm sorry about your mom, but my mom also had cancer and seeing how I've been had by quackery from modern medicine she refused all drugs (they only reduce recurrence by 1-2% while increasing the chance of a far more deadly cancer by over 400%, people that take it are being fooled and killed for profit). She changed her diet and doctors never saw anyone recover so fast in their careers.

I forgot to mention my mom's cancer was most certainly caused by HRT drugs she took for about 20 years for which again the company knew they caused breast cancer and heart attacks and got caught hiding this for decades, knowingly killing tens of thousands of women.
 

shunt2011

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I think this thread is getting off track..please stick to the topic. Thank you!
 

FGOriold

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Well it's not just about what the fda or other organizations will do to those who mislabel or make false, unproven claims on their products but how doing so ultimately affects the rest of us trying to run our businesses successfully within the laws. When you (generic you, not anyone in particular) decide not to educate yourself and properly label and market your product, it affects all of us with increased regulation and restrictions on how we run our business and create and sell our product. Just ask anyone who lives in Florida what they have to go through to sell anything other than "soap".

So, yes, when I see someone who is unaware of or not abiding by the labeling laws you bet I'm going to speak up about it because it's my (and your) business that could suffer in the end.
 

JustBeachy

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Well it's not just about what the fda or other organizations will do to those who mislabel or make false, unproven claims on their products but how doing so ultimately affects the rest of us trying to run our businesses successfully within the laws. When you (generic you, not anyone in particular) decide not to educate yourself and properly label and market your product, it affects all of us with increased regulation and restrictions on how we run our business and create and sell our product. Just ask anyone who lives in Florida what they have to go through to sell anything other than "soap".

So, yes, when I see someone who is unaware of or not abiding by the labeling laws you bet I'm going to speak up about it because it's my (and your) business that could suffer in the end.
I agree. The increase in soap sellers, and specifically those that bend/break the rules is causing greater scrutiny. 2015 is going to bring stricter enforcement of "health" claims and labeling in general. Unfortunately you are correct, it affects everyone.
 

Consuela

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Labelling correctly is important. Insurance is important. As small little people we need all the help we can get and this includes following the rules and regulations. One person, hellbent on a lawsuit can and will ruin your life. Because sometimes people are just like that. And sometimes it's that one person who alerts the FDA.

In Canada, I thought we had it bad. Then I read a few of Gentlemans post and realized we actually have it pretty good here.

Small businesses can and should exist. For the local economy, for the handcrafted aspect. For unique quality. Lucky, we're allowed the luxury of working for ourselves and for avoiding a 9 to 5 if we can make a go of it.

I come across other soapers who don't follow the rules. Improper labelling, and wrong inci names. These soapers make an impact on laws and regulations whether or not they realize it. Simply listing Olive Oil doesn't cut it.

If that theoretical soaper doesn't bother with proper labelling, do they bother with proper procedures? Sure it's a stretch, but I would wonder what other corners are being cut.

(Though, it makes the labels longer and makes the average person go Huh?, it's important to follow the standards of labelling.) we want to keep the ability to make our own soap right? So why do things that potentially make it harder for the entire trade?

Sure you can do what you want because you might not get caught. But at the end of the day you might. You might get caught. And our "freedoms" that exist right now, might not exist anymore. And a lawsuit from a customer OR from the FDA, is a bankruptcy sink hole. The FDA will win. We won't. You won't. I won't. Unless of course we have good expensive lawyers. But if we can afford good expensive lawyers, we can afford the insurance, business liscences and other fees from being legitimate.

Do I think there's black suburbans full of soaping police? Nope. But I do think that circumstance, by way of luck or misfortune, can lead a person to the unfortunate event of being investigated. Sh** happens. And it can happen any number of ways. to being
 

wetshavingproducts

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It depends.

If you're marketing something as a drug, I imagine they'll crack down hard. If you get the label wrong by a word or two, no one may even notice, and if they do, I imagine they'll send you a letter outlining what they'll do if you don't fix it.

But yeah, contrary to conspiracy theorists, the government simply does not have the resources to monitor everything they are supposed to.
 

CookbookChef

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It depends.

If you're marketing something as a drug, I imagine they'll crack down hard. If you get the label wrong by a word or two, no one may even notice, and if they do, I imagine they'll send you a letter outlining what they'll do if you don't fix it.

But yeah, contrary to conspiracy theorists, the government simply does not have the resources to monitor everything they are supposed to.

I kind of think in all seriousness, this statement is true!! Reality I think is that it is hard enough to pay attention to all the Big Company's out their and the problems they have, let alone the little guy or girl who is just starting off in a new soaping business who slips up here or their in the wording on a label. I do agree however, that one must know and understand what they are getting into before jumping into this business. Just like soaping in general, I studied for a very long time, even before making my first bar of soap. The same should be true of selling, Knowledge is Power, and the point of selling is to be making some money. Its far easier to pick yourself up from a minor fail then a complete flop from simply jumping in with both feet. I do see the statement above very true indeed. Saying that, I do understand the importance of understanding what I am getting into, before I get into it. Thank You WetshavingProducts, Your Answer so far is the one that I love the most!! Saying that, I see much value and wisdom in the other posts too and I will Ponder all things said :wave:
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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The trouble with that answer, which is understandable why it is loved, is that if enough people do it then things will change.

If people never sped, ever, there would have been no market for speed cameras and the like. But because enough people were speeding and it caused issues that were brought to the attention of the police, they now monitor it more closely. It also pays for itself - they say "you know the law, you broke the law, no excuses, pay a fine".

So many people over there in the US are selling soaps and B&B products. If enough people play fast and loose with the laws involved and it causes enough issues to get the attention of the lawmakers.......well, I won't give you a prize for working out the outcome.
 

pamielynn

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The trouble with that answer, which is understandable why it is loved, is that if enough people do it then things will change.

If people never sped, ever, there would have been no market for speed cameras and the like. But because enough people were speeding and it caused issues that were brought to the attention of the police, they now monitor it more closely. It also pays for itself - they say "you know the law, you broke the law, no excuses, pay a fine".

So many people over there in the US are selling soaps and B&B products. If enough people play fast and loose with the laws involved and it causes enough issues to get the attention of the lawmakers.......well, I won't give you a prize for working out the outcome.
Exactly!
There so many soapers who I'd love to call the FDA about, but I won't because it's usually in regards to claims -hopefully not enough of a transgression to get someone hurt- and I don't want more regulations. The last one they tried to pass would have forced us to pay a registration fee for each SKU. Had it passed, none of us would have to discuss this at all, since it would have forced most of us out of business.

It's really not hard to comply with the regulations we have. Be safe. Be truthful and do the absolute best job you can. And don't speed ;)
 

FGOriold

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Again, it is not about the individual bath and body maker that will get the unwanted attention of the FDA, it is the cumulative outcome of the overwhelming number of those who are not abiding by the laws (which are put into place to help inform and protect the public at large) will result in increased regulation to cut down on the issues since the FDA doesn't have the time to monitor it all. Changes will be made with a very broad stroke of the brush because of the actions of those that have the attitude "I am too small for the FDA to care about" or "Everyone else is doing it, so what's the big deal" or just plain ignorance. Maybe if people could look at the bigger picture instead it would be more clear as the overall consequences to all of us. Again, talk to someone from Florida and find out what they can and cannot create or sell as a home based bath and body business.
 

JustBeachy

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It depends.

If you're marketing something as a drug, I imagine they'll crack down hard. If you get the label wrong by a word or two, no one may even notice, and if they do, I imagine they'll send you a letter outlining what they'll do if you don't fix it.

But yeah, contrary to conspiracy theorists, the government simply does not have the resources to monitor everything they are supposed to.
You could very well be right. Then again.....

I use to sell my soaps back about 15 years ago. There were hardly any homemade soap sellers at the time. There was no Etsy. And you rarely heard anything about FDA regulations. There just wasn't as much exposure and it was far harder for the FDA to "find" the sellers.

Jump forward past 2005, (the start of Etsy) and into the present day. The number of soap company's have increased exponentially and so has the ease of "monitoring" these company's. It's not like some poor guy has to drive 800 miles, across the country in his dark colored sedan, with his men in black outfit on, to check on policy adherence of "The My First Soap" company. ;-) One person can sit at their desk, eating a sack lunch, and easily check out 30 to 40 company's a day. I would bet there's not just one person manning the FDA regulation department for B&B products.

I've been kicking around the idea of getting back into selling and tend to do a lot of research, as opposed to just listening to "conspiracy theorists". :smile: I have talked to a couple of soap company's that make "natural" products. From a company that produces thousands of pounds of soap per week, to some that do around a thousand pounds per month. As one lady put it, "If I'm feeling up to it." Haha, she was a fun conversation.

The common answer, when asked how the regulatory aspects had changed or was affecting them, was pretty much universal. To paraphrase, "now that everyone with a computer seems to be making soap, we're hearing 2015 is going to bring on a wave of closer scrutiny."

I tend to do my research, listen well to people in the position to advise me intelligently, then form my own opinion. I could be completely wrong. Maybe people have just gotten tired of the "who shot JFK conspiracy" and moved on to soap. ;-)
 

KatieShephard

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Again, it is not about the individual bath and body maker that will get the unwanted attention of the FDA, it is the cumulative outcome of the overwhelming number of those who are not abiding by the laws (which are put into place to help inform and protect the public at large) will result in increased regulation to cut down on the issues since the FDA doesn't have the time to monitor it all. Changes will be made with a very broad stroke of the brush because of the actions of those that have the attitude "I am too small for the FDA to care about" or "Everyone else is doing it, so what's the big deal" or just plain ignorance. Maybe if people could look at the bigger picture instead it would be more clear as the overall consequences to all of us. Again, talk to someone from Florida and find out what they can and cannot create or sell as a home based bath and body business.
Because it's been mentioned a couple of times already, what's the deal with Florida? What regs are you talking about? I don't live there, so I have no clue and I'm curious.
 
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