It's not often that industry representatives go before Congress to ask for more federal regulation, but that's what cosmetics makers want from the Food and Drug Administration.
"Even though FDA has repeatedly stated that cosmetics are the safest products they regulate, it is time to bring FDA’s statutory authority up to date,” said Covington & Burling senior counsel Peter Barton Hutt, testifying today before a House subcommittee on behalf of the major cosmetics industry trade association.
For cosmetics makers — a $60 billion category that includes not just lipstick and eyeshadow, but products like shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and sunscreen — the newfound enthusiasm for federal oversight comes down to this: it’s better than 50 different state standards.
Faced with a growing number of new and inconsistent regulations at the state level, the cosmetics industry has concluded that a uniform national standard enforced by the FDA is preferable — so long as agency rules pre-empt state laws.
“Myriad diverse state regulations would substantially increase the cost of producing and distributing personal care products,” Curran Dandurand, chief executive officer of men’s personal care products company Jack Black, told the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health. “The consequences for small business owners would be disastrous.”