Statement by Lezlee Westine, President and CEO Personal Care Products Council In Response to JAMA Opinion Piece, “Cosmetics, Regulations and the Public Health”
Washington, D.C.—“We appreciate Dr. Califf and his colleagues’ perspectives on the safety and regulation of personal care products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and agree that regulation of cosmetics needs to be modernized. We need to address some critical points about the safety of our products and the industry’s support for regulatory reform.
“Consumer safety is a top priority for cosmetic and personal care products companies, with careful and thorough scientific research and development serving as the foundation for everything we do. Decades of consumer experience with our products demonstrate that they are one of the safest product categories regulated by the FDA. We take very seriously our responsibility for the safety of our products and those who trust and enjoy them.
“Despite the very strong safety record of cosmetic products, the Council and its member companies believe more can be done to ensure that FDA has the appropriate authority and resources to regulate our products in the 21st century. For nearly a decade, we have worked with a bipartisan group of leaders in Congress and a diverse group of interested parties to modernize federal regulatory oversight for cosmetics. For the past 25 years, the Council has advocated for increased FDA funding to ensure the Agency has the resources needed to regulate our industry. That strong commitment has not waivered.
“As part of our ongoing commitment toward regulatory reform, our industry adopted a set of legislative principles to help guide bipartisan legislative action. We have advocated for required reporting by manufacturers to FDA of serious and unexpected adverse health events. We also support mandatory registration with FDA of manufacturing facilities and ingredient statements; authorizing FDA to issue Good Manufacturing Practices for cosmetics; and creating a program for FDA to review the safety of cosmetic ingredients, among other things.
“Under the current regulatory system, companies conduct product safety evaluations using the same science-based approaches embedded in the research practices at FDA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other regulatory agencies around the world. Cosmetic safety assessments are thorough and address numerous health questions, including, but not limited to, the potential for cancer, reproductive harm, allergic reactions, and how an ingredient is cleared if it goes through the body.
“The industry employs nearly 6,000 scientific and technical professionals dedicated to ensuring product and ingredient safety. Companies also work with a number of scientific and medical experts—chemists, toxicologists, microbiologists, dermatologists, epidemiologists, environmental scientists and other technical experts—to evaluate and ensure the safety of their products before they reach the consumer.
“The Personal Care Products Council is steadfastly committed to public health and consumer safety. It is time for Congress to step in and create a more modernized regulatory system for the personal care products sector – a system that advances safety, innovation and consumer confidence.”