Op-Ed by Lezlee Westine, President and CEO Personal Care Products Council, on Cosmetics Reform
This op-ed originally appeared in The Opinion Pages on Dec. 1, 2022.
The Time for Cosmetics Reform is Now
Every day, millions of Americans use a variety of beauty and personal care products to enhance their lives — from sunscreen, toothpaste and shampoo to moisturizer, makeup and fragrance. The Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) and its member companies are proud of the trust consumers place in our products. We take our responsibility to provide safe, high-quality products very seriously. Consumer and product safety are our top priorities, with careful and thorough scientific research and development serving as the foundation for everything we do.
Our sector has a long history of going above and beyond what is required by law. However, we recognize that the current oversight of our industry by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was created more than 80 years ago under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938.
It is time to bring personal care products regulation into the 21st century to reflect our dynamic, innovative and science-based industry. We firmly believe that well-crafted reforms, grounded in the best available science will provide the FDA with the appropriate tools to oversee our rapidly growing industry, help us continue innovating, and further strengthen consumer confidence in the products they trust and enjoy every day.
For more than a decade, PCPC and its member companies have worked with members of Congress, consumer and health care advocates, and other key stakeholders to reach bipartisan consensus to support a contemporary approach to cosmetics oversight. We applaud members of Congress for their work on the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act (MoCRA). This legislation will create a legislative framework that will bolster companies’ ability to innovate and enhance consumer confidence in the products they use and love.
Additionally, our sector contributes significantly to the U.S. economy. The beauty and personal care products industry provides 3.9 million domestic jobs and touches nearly every state, city and county. Women compromise 77% of our workforce. Our industry employs and consults with thousands of scientific, medical and technical experts devoted to studying the human and environmental impacts of our products and their ingredients. An updated, sensible regulatory approach can give these companies — 70% of them small businesses — the regulatory certainty they need to compete, grow and contribute to our nation’s economy, while ensuring consumers that their safety is protected and providing full transparency about the manufacture of their products.
We urge Congress to pass legislation to create a more modernized regulatory system for the beauty and personal care sector — one that will advance product safety and innovation and reinforce consumer trust. Now is the time to act.