SPECIAL NOTICE - WE NEED YOUR HELP!
You may have seen Annie Leonard's latest YouTube video, The Story of Cosmetics, now gone viral on thousands of blogs across the internet, currently scaring people silly about using cosmetics. Annie has partnered with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a consumer advocacy group who has pushed for overly-stringent and unreasonable regulatory requirements for "cosmetics". This regulatory industry identifier includes companies like ours, although we certainly aren't a cosmetic company, per se. This consumer group attempted to influence language in 2008 in the FDA Globalization Act without carefully considering the impact that these new requirements would have on small business. Companies like Samara Botane rallied with other aromatherapy and indie personal care products companies, sending a representative delegation to Washington, D.C. to make the case for indie business. They listened, however, this stage of the struggle is not final. This bill continues to travel through the committee process in Congress, and we are carefully monitoring to insure burdensome requirements that could be harmful to indie business like ours are not in the bill. This advocacy group then attempted again at the state level in Colorado with House Bill 10-1248 the Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Bill, introduced in February of 2010. With very short notice, we rallied again, with a small group of indies going to the committee hearing and, ultimately defeating the bill in the subsequent vote. It was then that we saw the handwriting on the wall and began to organize more actively..
With Annie's video and their own aggressive publicity campaign, CFSC is now attempting to try again with the Safe Cosmetics Act 2010, now introduced in the house. You can read my blog posts here and here to see a historical picture of the CFSC relationship with small companies like ours and background information regarding the CFSC and Annie's video.
We at Samara Botane agree that there needs to be periodic review of and overhaul of current FDA regulations when necessary. We are in agreement that we need good regulations governing cosmetics and personal care products to improve product safety, provide adequate ingredient information along with other consumer education. However, this video is nothing more than a "shockumentary" to frighten you into thinking that you are going to contract cancer and other horrible diseases by using your favorite shampoo. And, the bill is not the right bill. The fact is, the cosmetics industry as it exists now is probably the safest industry in the country. If you have read my two blog posts, you will see why we at Samara Botane and others like us are now perplexed at the continued direction CFSC seems to be taking, especially after hearing from those of us who know more about the safety of our products than they appear to.
Samara Botane was founded to introduce the safe use of essential oils to you, our customers in the medical community, massage practitioners, naturopaths and other alternative practitioners, aromatherapists, wellness schools & educators, and to individuals who wish to make safe, natural personal care products for individual and family use. We are rigorous about our own product and ingredient safety; we educate our customers in aromatherapy and the uses of essential oils and other natural ingredients, and we actively keep informed about the latest scientific research regarding essential oils and other botanical extracts. This new bill could put burdensome reporting requirements on our company and does nothing to make our products any safer or our information more transparent..
We are among a growing number of indie businesses who give you choices for natural products made in smaller batches, with safe and plant-based ingredients. Handmade soaps, Aromatherapy lotions and creams, Bath salts, Natural perfumes - the list goes on. This emerging growth of speciality indie business came about, in part, to offer an alternative to the many behemoth cosmetic corporations. Ironically, we now find ourselves on the same side of this important regulatory issue as those giant corporations, who for their own reasons are also opposed to the bill..
Samara Botane vigorously opposes The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010. We feel that the current requirements of the FDA are sufficient for us to insure the safety of the products we offer, and we are committed to our ongoing research to bring safe personal care products to you. We already provide consumer information far beyond what is required by the FDA. Here are some of the reasons this bill may hurt our company and you, our customers:
It is Not Necessary. There is already sufficient FDA oversight on manufacturing cosmetics now, and as mentioned, Samara Botane already provides all ingredient information to customers, along with adequate safety information. We do not use any dangerous additives or chemicals in our products. We accurately list all ingredients and we are happy to share all information about those ingredients with our customers. We actively study current scientific and medical research and continually update our knowledge and expertise, especially with regard to aromatics and natural plant derivatives for personal care products..
It is Overly Intrusive. This bill asks companies to provide information far beyond that which would assure compliance with safe manufacturing. It asks for our annual sales revenue and information on employees which is already reported to state and federal tax authorities. It even asks for private information about our suppliers and vendors, which could compromise proprietary business contacts, and would require that we notify the FDA of every address change or new supplier, bringing additional, redundant time-consuming, tasks.
It Will Be Expensive. The costs of compliance will burden small business, and will unnecessarily increase prices to you, the customer. In these times of deep recession, this will not help our economy grow, nor will it help our commitment of providing quality, affordable essential oils and aromatherapy products.
If you value the products and services from Samara Botane and other indie personal care companies, we need you to support our effort to avoid the impact of this bill. Please click on the Oppose SCA banner at the right, read the petition statement and sign the petition if you agree. Ongoing information regarding this bill can be found on our blog The Winged Seed, Personal Care Truth, Sagescript Blog, The Aromaconnection Blog and others found by Googling "Safe Cosmetics Act 2010".
Thank you very much for taking the time to learn more about this bill. We'll be back next week with our regular August newsletter.