Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oppose Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act

Hello Everyone,

After a very long and exhausting two days of dealing with emails, phone calls and collaborating with my fellow cosmetic manufacturers to oppose a new proposed Bill coming into the Colorado arena, I finally was able to construct this weeks article which only added to my exhaustion physically and emotionally. Many of my customers were concerned as to how this would affect them and us, and whether or not they would be able to get our products in the future. This upset me a great deal based on how irresponsible this legislation is and the unnecessary fear it is creating in people.

Skim over it in thorough detail....just click on links...or ignore it and hope it goes really doesn't is about getting as much information to you as possible so you will be well informed and render an educated decision on your own. What you do with it is then left up to you.

As I have done in the past and continue to do is keep you up to date on the FDA Globalization Act of 2009, and now again I bring you the latest in a debacle of misguided individuals that will be harming the beauty industry as a whole. I apologize for the length of this article, but felt it was only prudent on my part to cover all the details so I can answer the many questions I received this week.

The most recent political agenda is geared toward damaging small manufacturers through the use of bad science, propaganda and deliberate disinformation on a state by state basis.

Can you guess who?

Yep, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is at it again..... As the CFSC loses ground on the federal level they have moved onto address this in each state. The worst part of this is that many compact signers don't even realize what they have signed on for since their products will be adversely affected as well. In fact, some have expressed concern to others in our industry, claiming CFSC and/or the Women's Lobby of Colorado did not have permission to use their names in this manner as a way to show support for this sweeping Bill currently before their states' representatives.

Colorado Lawmakers Are At Risk Of Destroying Commerce And Freedom Of Choice

The Women's Lobby of Colorado is standing together with CFSC to try and make illegal, and ban ingredients in personal care products, which are deemed to be carcinogenic and neurotoxins.

You may view their agenda here: The Lobby Please take note the list of businesses which may or may not be showing support at the bottom of this page, as I will address this later on.

If this Bill passes as it is written, I kid you not, every cosmetic and personal care product manufactured in your state you have come to know, use and trust will be stripped from the shelves since the manufacturers will wish to avoid the harsh penalties they wish to impose. This is a zero tolerance Bill and anti small business for Colorado, and only big box companies may withstand this Bill once they have completely reformulated their products and tested them to substantiate their safety. This spells huge money and time expenditure, thus huge pharmaceutical and skincare companies may simply find it easier and less involved to take their business elsewhere, leaving you the consumer, empty handed.

Although I strive within my company to make all of our products safe for consumers, and this legislation would eliminate my competition, this is not what I am about. Plus this could sweep from state to state and eventually involve my company, so I must very much be involved at this stage and join as a united front with my fellow manufacturers. As I have many customers in Colorado, I felt it was important to bring this to your attention and to answer questions collectively through this article, in order that you may know the facts and speak out to your local representatives on this matter if you are so inclined.

The Bill: Current Form

Scary Huh?..... Colorado Government and CFSC want to dictate your lives and personal choices as they deem fit, all based on ridiculous anecdotal testimony stripped of all reasonable scientific studies. And they plan to impose this will by creating stiff penalties, creating undue hardship on small manufacturers and allow citizens to be the police through civil penalty. The risk is too high for a beauty care manufacturer to continue to conduct business in a state with such an extraneous Bill.

And what entities will decide what is safe or not? .....Who will be the discerning body? .....a bunch of bureaucrats handpicked by the CFSC?.... One has to wonder!

Here is the science that CFSC doesn't want you to see or acknowledge. This latest research would contradict their cherry picked data based on high level occupational hazard and not on diluted solutions formulated within the ingredient parameters for safe use according to tested ratios that are used by customers. New Research Data

Risk versus hazard is not even being addressed in this Bill and ingredients are being labeled as bad no matter the ratios, and CFSC would have you believe they have your best interest at heart...this cannot be further from the truth...this right now is about political power and gaining control over government agencies as being seen as the truth tellers and the savior to the general public.

One educator renowned worldwide as a leader in essential oils and aromatherapy research could not have summed it up better: Robert Tisserand Article

You better stop breathing our air (toxins, pollutants, exhaust emmissions), eating fish (possible mercury exposure), meats and poultry, (antibiotics, steroids, hormone growth factor potential) fruits and vegetables (parabens, estrogen) and drinking the water (lead, mercury, arsenic allowable ppm), because if we are led to believe that personal care products are completely to blame for causing cancer then we truly are living in a vacuum. It simply is much more complex than how this is being represented by Dianne Primavera and CFSC.

Representative Bill sponsor Dianne Primavera (D-Broomfield) would have you believe personal care products are the sole cause of her cancer. See by clicking Direct quote for complete interview: "There was no genetic reason why I should have gotten cancer," she said. "There was no environmental reason. (Really? the pictures displayed give examples of environmental reasons.) I never smoked. I never drank. I had my weight in perfect condition. I turned over every rock to figure out why I got cancer but the personal care products was a rock I didn't turn over and once I found out this is an issue and could be an issue for our citizens, I think we need to step in and take a role to protect (them)."

This interview also has some great comments by those thinking more rationally and are not caught up in the fray. Most want their freedom to choose to remain intact and not be dictated by government as though they possess no reasoning skills on what is best for them. Do you personally really need the government to dictate what is best for you?...... I don't!

Though I can applaud her well intentioned efforts, her direction is misguided as she succumbs to the emotion of her disease and allows CFSC to fuel it using their bad science to create wide spread panic and hysteria.

Parabens yet again come under attack, when the American Cancer Society and The National Cancer Institute have shown scientific evidence to the contrary. Many of you read my article on Parabens citing these resources latest research, but another great article to read is located HERE.

My Viewpoint

Now don't misunderstand my position...I am all for certain legislative changes to the cosmetic industry for protecting consumers as most Indie manufacturers are, but at the Federal Level, and we were working toward this. We are striving to bring you the best creations in health and well being for your skin. However, the way this Bill is written will do nothing to create safety for the consumer, but will only bring about product removal and create an abuse of litigation since this Bill creates a lottery ticket to those that so choose to enforce this law.

We wish for level heads to prevail and weigh the risk versus the hazards of ingredients brought about by clear science, not speculation, or pronounce one group of watchdogs as the professionals to do the job. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is comprised of lobbyists, fund raisers and lawyers, and the last thing we need is a misguided politician that has little to no education or background in chemical sciences playing with our freedom to choose or to conduct business open and freely.

The CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review) or The Personal Care Products Council are comprised of scientists, chemists, physicians and researchers working collectively to keep consumers safe who use beauty care products, and they will be making their argument known in regard to this current Bill.

I truly don't believe the Women's Lobby of Colorado really understands fully what they are in support of. They clearly have taken a side based solely on face value without doing their own research as I have done for many years. They provide a list of Colorado based cosmetic businesses, and I have investigated the companies in question as to their status with CFSC. Based on my findings, they are all in violation in some form or another of CFSC's agenda.

Companies Shooting Themselves In The Foot

One of those in direct support is Lily Organics and they also are a sponsor of this Bill and will be giving testimony at the hearings. Pangea Organics is another and both of these companies products have similar toxic ratings according to CFSC.

It simply doesn't make sense to be in support of something that will directly impact their business. I don't know if they fully understand the scope of their decisions to support legislation that will make their products illegal to sell in their own state.

Further Investigation On Signers Which May Or May Not Be In Support Of This Bill

Mychelle Dermaceuticals stands to be damaged the most. They use a multitude of ingredients with hazard scores up to 7-9 within their profile.

Again being a signer does not make them compliant and are receiving ratings which serve no other purpose but to destroy the very companies that show support.

Chae Organics, well they haven't even submitted their products yet for evaluation so their scores can be all over the map with the individual ingredient breakdown.

Signer numbers are growing and not for the reasons of truly protecting the sounds great and seems to give the public a warm and fuzzy feeling, but it is a double edged sword for most companies. I do not make these statements in order to damage or disparage these companies but to only show what is really occurring within this entity. They either show these companies in non compliance, or in compliance while still creating conflicting data for their products.

The CFSC is lulling these companies into a false sense of security by stating they are in full compliance making them proud about the direction they are headed, but if you look closely at the entire correlation of this, they also state in the compliance agreement "They are continuing to work toward fully substantiating the safety of their products as required in the next phase of the Compact."

This is the very reason I decided to withdraw my support and demanded my company be removed since I recognized their tactics were nothing less than Astroturfing. And based on what I am witnessing today, I will not be rejoining the ranks of this movement to harm other small cosmetic manufacturers who's only goal is provide a safer, higher quality product to their customers.

Busting The Bank

What does the next phase mean for compliant CFSC companies?

Pre-market testing on ingredients that have already been tested and approved cosmetic safe by the FDA. This testing is pointless and will pose a huge financial burden and more than likely this small company and many others like them, will no longer be able to comply, or will go out of business if this should become the norm nationwide, state governments superceding Federal law. I would hate to think that with this show of compliance within the CFSC, that somehow these companies feel they will be exempt from the mandates of this Bill. This would be a miscalculation on their part!

I put some very pointed questions to Lily Organics as did the founder of our Indie Beauty Network and her responses were as vague and broad as the Bill she is sponsoring. She chose to not answer our questions and side stepped the issues of concern. So it is clear where she stands by her responses. You may view them HERE. At least until the possibility she may remove our comments since we are standing against what she believes.

Small Update as ones' Feet are put to the Fire: Just learned from other fellow cosmetic companies that wished to leave a comment for Lily Organics are now having their comments censored as she has changed her settings to have them approved....I don't mind the approval process so much since I do it for spam and rude commentary. However, since I know many of these folks, I am sure they posed their comments in a professional and courteous manner. The fact their comments are still not posted after 24 hours suggest she will never post them since her position has been taken to task. So now we are dealing with a scenario of avoiding the tough questions asked. I ask Lily Organics, "If you are proud and committed to your stance on this proposed bill, then why not defend it instead of running from the challenge?"

In this economy, to literally destroy commerce whereby creating a loss of more jobs in the name of more government control by removing ones' favorite cosmetics from an individuals grasp, is bordering on the inane.

So the question remains, are the companies sponsoring this Bill planning on reformulating all their products?...... Doubtful, yet they are in support of something that will literally put all of their companies at risk of coming under attack at a state level.

I pose the question: in regard to sunscreen ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide these are also scoring for hazard as do most sunscreen ingredients, chemical or natural. So what is the campaigns suggestion for a safe sunscreen? they even know? Sunscreen is bad for you....sunshine is bad for what do we do, live in a cave or never go outdoors? This is resembling something very close to lunacy.

It is about moderation in doses.....period....sun is healthy in moderate doses for fighting cancer and disease, not to mention strengthening bones. In fact Doctors are reporting multiple cases of vitamin D deficiencies in Americans due to the use of sunscreens and this deficiency is contributing to colon cancer along with other cancers and disease. Perhaps the Women's Lobby and Dianne Primavera should cast their look in this direction. The point is their reasoning behind this Bill is extremely shortsighted and way too simplistic.

Sunscreen minerals are also considered safe, non nano, especially in the form of a dry component, like mineral cosmetics, as these are never absorbed into the skin. But their research does not define the differences. It is a one size fits all mentality!

And in this bills current form it will now allow citizens to govern by suing companies that contain the suspect ingredients at will. This is insane and will shut down most small business manufacturers who truly are working to make products safer for consumers and lawyers will have a field day....hmmm...interesting to remember CFSC in part is composed of lawyers...sounds like personal gain and power to me.

Summing Things Up

This bill does and will affect everyone whether you live in Colorado or it will establish a precedent and spread nationwide. This has been the goal of the campaign since their inception of using data with huge gaps and one sided research mainly tested on lab animals and in full concentrations, not diluted ratios. They also are stressing hazard such as in occupational practices and not for consumer use ratios. Chemical levels is essential to focus on as the amount of toxicity is not the same and should not be equated as being one in the same.

Get involved at your legislative level and stand up for your right to choose and not allow government to dictate based on bad science what is and isn't healthy for us....bottom line, to date no one has died from using cosmetics on their skin or been proven to cause cancer or any other malady. The air we breathe, the water we drink and the fruits and vegetables we eat can all be considered suspect. Please learn the facts!

Also, it isn't that we have any opposed particular is about in the eyes of the CFSC and skin deep data base, just about all cosmetic ingredients have some negative connotation if you believe their standardized bad science. This is what we have been fighting for the past 18 months. Fear mongering and creating paranoid thinking among consumers through their political propaganda. Some in their blogs now nickname the CFSC as (Campaign for Scaring Consumers)

In terms of selling in Colorado, even though we are not physically on store shelves and don't manufacture there, we would be crossing state lines and this will pose further investigation in order to see how we would be affected or if this bill will have amendments in this regard. But this bill written in it's current form is no different than when we ship overseas. Our products must comply in ingredients, packaging and labeling in accordance with the European Union. Otherwise we can be banned from selling further in foreign countries. So in essence, we may be forced to discontinue shipping to our customers in Colorado State if this Bill is expanded to include any products coming into the state as well.

You Can Fight City Hall

That is the point, the current draft is damaging and is not creating a safer product but simply putting great companies either out of business or prohibited from selling in their state for fear of civil action against them. Supply houses for manufacturers are already taking action and plan on speaking in front of the representatives of this Bill to make their argument known, as they provide raw materials to many small manufacturers, so they could also be affected. This new law will be far reaching more than anyone can know.

Consumers need clear and precise scientific research and data in order to make an informed decision, not broad sweeping and ambiguous data that treats us like mindless lemmings.

This Bill is based on a quagmire of speculation, anecdotes, and biased science with little to no fully substantiated data. Simply look at the conflicting data gaps provided with each ingredient achieving a score higher than a 1, or put in the box the name of the companies that are on the Lobby's list and you will see they are all in violation of non-compliance to having hazard scores on many ingredients making them illegal to sell in Colorado. Check The Companies or Ingredients in the Data Base so you can follow what I have been explaining in some detail.

Now I ask anyone, how can this be interpreted as scientific irrefutable proof by anyone other than the CSFC. How can a company be in compliance and yet have ratings and check marks for all categories from cancer to neurotoxicity?.........Perplexing isn't it? It will be a sad day for all of us if we allow such an intrusion by a states government to dictate separately from federal law already issuing safety regulations for cosmetic manufacturers, as to what is best for the people.

If you wish to get involved and show support by opposing this Bill, or make your voice heard, here is where you begin.

A complete list with phone #'s and emails of those in support of the Bill: Click Here

There is a hearing scheduled March 1, 2010 for sponsors and those opposing the act to be heard. The committee meets in room 0107 (in the basement of the Capitol) in Denver beginning at 1:30 pm.

Hope those that can attend and observe, will take away from it a positive experience and not leave feeling as though we are facing a brick wall. If you can make your opinions known as a consumer, please do so, your freedom of choice is at risk.

Thanks for taking the time to read this as I know it was a lot to absorb. Unfortunately when dealing with our government, nothing can be explained easily or simply as it is a complicated machine of proposals, debates, rewrites, resubmissions, red tape and rhetoric.

If you are like me after reading all this data and info, a nap came shortly after. ~Phew~

Time to now go do some Yoga and chill out and soothe my brain cells!


Related Article: Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act Failed!

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  1. Wow ! They just keep getting more and more creative about taking away more of our freedom. Great article Kathrine thanks !

  2. Thanks for the informative post Katherine. I wonder if signers of the CFSC have even read the bill and the list of ingredients that would be banned if passed or even understand it in any way.