hearing held Tuesday, Scott Faber of the
Environmental Working Group testified before the House
Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy about the lack of government oversight of cosmetics and personal care products.
Last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a
Safety Statement and
Recall Alert confirming the presence of asbestos in cosmetic talc products marketed
to teens and young girls. The FDA announced in its statement that there
are currently no legal requirements for cosmetic manufacturers marketing
products to American consumers to test their products for safety, and
that the FDA lacks the authority to issue a recall when products are found
to contain unsafe ingredients.
A bipartisan-backed bill, the
Personal Care Products Safety Act, has been brought before the Senate to try and change this. The PCPSA
will, among other things, give the FDA new power to ensure that products
are safe and free from dangerous substances like asbestos before putting
them on the market.
While governments in Canada and Europe have banned upward of
1,300 ingredients from use in cosmetics, the U.S. has banned only
11, and the laws regulating oversight of cosmetic products, the
Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), has not been updated since it was first enacted in 1938.
Faber’s prepared remarks delivered to the House Oversight and Reform
Committee can be