2015 In Review: Tension Builds At The Regulatory Cosmetic/Drug Divide
This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet
FDA continued its crackdown on overreaching cosmetic claims in 2015, issuing nine warnings to cosmetic product marketers, while a draft bill emerged in the US House that would redefine "cosmetic" under federal law to provide companies with greater flexibility. Microbead legislation commanded the most national attention, with President Obama signing the federal Microbead-Free Waters Act to close out the year.
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Latham & Watkins attorneys believe the limited scope and "interpretive ambiguities" of the US Microbead-Free Waters Act could leave room for state legislation targeting plastic microbead use in cosmetic products, notwithstanding the law's preemption component. The absence of a "plastic" definition under the federal ban also raises questions, which biopolymer suppliers are racing to address with receptive ears in Congress.
EWG believes the Personal Care Products Act, which would mandate adverse-event reporting to FDA, could help to ensure that consumer injuries from cosmetic use do not reach the scale alleged in class actions targeting Guthy-Renker, which markets WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners. According to one suit filed in California district court, the firm has received more than 17,000 complaints of significant hair loss following product use.
President Obama signed the federal Microbead-Free Waters Act Dec. 29, putting an end to conflicting requirements for cosmetic microbead phase-outs at the state and local levels. More news in brief.