Op-Ed by Lezlee Westine, President & CEO, Personal Care Products Council, on Senate Appropriations Act

This op-ed originally appeared in Real Clear Policy on Sept. 12, 2023.

Congress: Fund the FDA to Fully Bring Cosmetics Reform to Life

Cosmetics and personal care products companies provide American consumers with safe, effective products that enhance their health, well-being and overall quality of life. Whether for toothpaste, cleansing and moisturizing products or color cosmetics, the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) and our member companies are firmly committed to ensuring safe and effective products through robust scientific research and development. 

For more than a decade, PCPC and our members have advocated for federal regulatory cosmetics reform by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The 2022 passage of the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act (MoCRA) modernizes FDA oversight of cosmetics and personal care products, and creates a comprehensive and uniform national framework for regulating these products.  This landmark legislation gives the FDA significant new authorities and regulatory tools that promote product safety and preserve innovation for the science-driven beauty and personal care industry and reinforces consumer confidence in products they trust and enjoy every day. 

Although PCPC member companies have long provided more product information than is required by law, manufacturers are now obligated to maintain records of adverse events and report serious events under MoCRA. Facilities producing cosmetics in the U.S. must register with the FDA, listing each product, its ingredients and manufacturing location. They are also required to substantiate the safety of their products through well-documented records. Product labels must identify potential allergens and include contact information to report potential adverse events. MoCRA also gives the FDA new enforcement capabilities, including the authority to suspend a facility’s registration and recall products that may pose a serious health risk.

But our work is not done. The FDA needs funding to implement these critical provisions. PCPC’s message to Capitol Hill is clear and urgent: we support the $7 million in the Senate Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act to empower the FDA to fully implement MoCRA. Together with the Professional Beauty Association and its more than 100,000 members, we are calling on Congress to help the FDA realize the full potential of MoCRA and its public health mission. A lack of funding now would undermine more than a decade of bipartisan effort. 

The beauty and personal care industry is dedicated to consumer safety, product innovation and scientific excellence. We urge Congress to act quickly to provide the FDA with the resources it needs to fulfill MoCRA’s promise. Now is the time to make this promise a reality.