In the aromatherapy products community, safety is by far the most discussed topic. We spend hours in online discussion groups, social media outlets, on our websites and in our blogs in an effort to convey accurate and safe advice to those using essential oils and ancillary products. Let us be very clear. We at Samara Botane want safe aromatherapy products that carry no or minimal risk to consumers.
Several years ago, many of our colleagues in the small personal care products industry joined with us as enthusiastic signers to the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics. Sounded good and what looked to be a way to carry a larger message about personal products safety. We trusted that CFSC would represent an honest, peer-reviewed scientifically verifiable position. A closer review now indicates that many of their references reflect insufficient data, some reflect low hazard and yet they include these substances in a larger list of potentially toxic ingredients. Additionally, we assumed and trusted that, as signers, our interests would be taken into consideration for any actions bearing our signatures as supporters. When the FDA introduced the FDA Globalization Act of 2008, it appeared as if CFSC was pressing for stringent, and perhaps unnecessary, regulations to be included in the act requiring product registration fees that would be prohibitive for many of the CFSC small business signers. At that time, it also began to become apparent that perhaps an overzealous rush headlong was overstating the immediate necessity for some of the requirements suggested to be included in the act and that perhaps established authorities were not being consulted to provide scientific documentation that would anchor CFSC’s position with actual facts and tempered scientific reasoning. There was an attempt to discuss our concerns with the leaders at CFSC, however, after several months we at Samara Botane requested we be removed as a signer when they were nonresponsive to our inquiries. It took over 2 months for them to comply with our wishes to have our name removed. We were not alone. Other small business colleagues did likewise and express similar stories.
Donna Maria Coles Johnson, President/CEO Indie Beauty Network, spearheaded a movement to insure member voices were heard at the FDA and she attempted to also dialog with CFSC. She and several IBN members travelled to Washington, D.C. on two occasions to meet with the Congressional Committee working on the FDA Globalization Act. The act has now been shelved, however, it could become active again. Donna Maria was diligent to communicate with and solicit input from IBN members throughout this process, gaining broad support from the membership. Here are some of her reports during this part of our story:
Why I Oppose New Cosmetics Laws That Do Not Contain Exemptions For Small Businesses
Why I’m Headed Back To Capitol Hill On Behalf Of America’s Small Businesses
Campaign For Safe Cosmetics: A New Report
It appears as if CFSC is now determined to press for these cosmetic ingredient requirements without consideration for small business exemption or insuring that other concerns are first addressed. They are now taking their efforts to the states themselves. As an endorsing organization of the CFSC, the Women’s Lobby of Colorado, is supporting state senator Boyd’s and representative Primavera’s HB 1248 The Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act. CFSC is prominently featured on relative Women’s Lobby documents. Based on Samara Botane’s experience with the nonresponsiveness of CFSC, and their failure to adequately advise signers we wonder if the 36 small Colorado companies listed here have expressly authorized CFSC or the Women’s Lobby to use their names on this document, which intimates support of the act. We wonder if they are even aware of the act or the broader implications of the CFSC agenda that could impact their small business. Additionally, we do not know where the Women’s Lobby is gathering their facts, but their fact sheet is not entirely accurate. Washington state has NOT passed a similar law as stated. House Bill 2166 was introduced in the Washington legislature and referred to committee in 2007 and no further action has been taken. There is not an existing similar law in Washington state.
We at Samara Botane encourage all small personal care businesses who either reside in or do business in Colorado to contact the legislators to oppose this bill. Please read these blogposts from colleagues with additional details, concerns and cautions:
Oppose the Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act Donna Maria Coles Johnson, IBN
Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act :: Take Action Immediately, Kayla Fioravanti, Essential Wholesale
Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act Kelly Bloom, Southern Soapers
Tunnel Vision, Robert Tisserand, Aromatherapy Expert and Author
Colorado Safe Cosmetics Bill, Cindy Jones PhD, Sagescript Institute
The Colorado Safe Personal Care Act: How Will it Affect You, Lisa Rodgers, Cactus & Ivy
You Can Die From Salt, Too, Anne Marie Faiola, Bramble Berry
Oppose Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act, Katherine Corkill, Sterling Minerals
From the President – Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act, Leigh O’Donnell, HSMG
Colorado versus the cosmetics industry, Sarva Natural Artisan Soaps
When Safety in Personal Care, Isn’t Safety At All, Jerell Klaver, Salus Natural Body Care
The Colorado No Product Law, Marge Clark, Nature’s Gift
Tilting at Windmills: The Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act, Emily Topsham, GCD Spa
Costly Confusion in Colorado: The Bubble Bill, Donna Maria Coles Johnson, IBN
Oppose the Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act, Aromatalk
House Bill 1248 Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act., MK Independent Beauty Consultants, We Will Not Fall Blog
Colorado Proposes Ban on Cosmetics It Claims Cause Cancer, Cosmetic Design
Bill Proposes the Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act, Global Cosmetic Industry
Tell Colorado Legislators to Back off the Mary Kay Lady: Oppose HB 1248, Ben, Peoples Press Collective
We hope we have included all to date, please add additional blogs or articles in your comments so that we can continue to assemble a comprehensive list. Thank you.
Marcia Elston and Rob Stitt
Samara Botane/Nature Intelligence