US Cosmetics Reform Talks To Resume In 2021 After COVID Derailing, Anti-Regulation Trump
Efforts to modernize US cosmetics regulations fell short in the 116th Congress as lawmakers swung their focus to COVID-19, but industry expects a resumption of discussions in the next term, even as pandemic relief and recovery remains top priority.
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The Environmental Working Group and Scientific Analytical Institute say inadequate testing of talc-containing personal-care products is to blame for findings of asbestos in cosmetics, including three of 21 powder-based cosmetics SAI analyzed at EWG’s request. They continue to push for updated testing standards that include electron microscopy as a core component.
Approved by the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee on 11 March, H.R. 5279 still lacks any concrete provisions regarding federal preemption of state and local requirements, though bill author and full committee chair Frank Pallone, D-NJ, remains committed to discussions on the subject. He recognized preemption as “a major issue that I know we have to deal with.”
Federal preemption of state and local requirements that differ from federal mandates came up repeatedly at the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee’s 4 December cosmetics hearing. Meanwhile, both NGO and industry stakeholders generally support FDA review of cosmetic ingredients, but the details of such a framework likely will be contentious as work progresses.