Self-Regulatory Programs Established

As the Association entered the 1970s, consumer and environmental concerns captured the attention of legislators and the media.

CTFA found itself in a decade-long struggle to convince regulatory agencies and consumer groups that the industry's commitment to product safety and self-regulation precluded the need to introduce new legislation.

In 1970, President Nixon's Special Assistant for Consumer Affairs Virginia Knauer urged the cosmetic industry to support a voluntary reporting program. The call for such a program emerged at a time when ingredient labeling of finished products was not yet required and when both consumers and FDA voiced concern over the industry's lack of disclosure of ingredients, registration of manufacturers and reports of adverse reactions to products.

At a December 1970 meeting with CTFA, FDA staff stated that if the industry agreed to voluntarily provide this data, the agency would not seek to legislate such a program.

In 1971, the Association proposed this first-of-its-kind program. At that time, CTFA President Jim Merritt described the program as a "desirable and innovative example of industry cooperation with government to better consumer protection."

In light of the prevailing regulatory climate, CTFA's system of voluntary regulation was designed to demonstrate the industry's willingness to supply information to FDA and to discourage Congressional legislation.

Under the program, both member and nonmember companies voluntarily provide FDA with information concerning their operations. The program entails: (1) registration of manufacturing establishments; (2) submission of data on composition of finished products; and (3) annual filing of consumer product experiences, detailing the number of complaints received by participating companies.

Following closely on the heels of the Voluntary Reporting Program was the publication of the first edition of the Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary in 1973. The Dictionary was the first authoritative source for commonly accepted names of cosmetic ingredients.

The Dictionary evolved out of an Association effort in 1970 to compile a list of chemicals used in cosmetics and toiletries. Working with representatives from FDA and the medical community, the CTFA Cosmetic Ingredient Nomenclature Committee researched existing nomenclature systems and developed comprehensive guidelines for consistency in name assignment.

The first edition of the Dictionary contained a listing of 5,000 trade and chemical names together with their CTFA adopted names, definitions, structures, Chemical Abstract Service Registry (CAS) Numbers and other information.

The work leading up to the first edition of the Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary greatly facilitated the industry's compliance with ingredient labeling standards adopted by FDA under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act in 1975.

FDA soon recognized the Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary as the source for proper nomenclature for cosmetic ingredient labeling. Each successive edition of the Dictionary reflected the increasingly high demand for more sophisticated information.

In 1994, the fifth edition contained more than 6,000 chemical names and was called the International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary. The Dictionary is recognized and sold all over the world, providing uniform names required for ingredient labeling in the United States, the European Union and many other countries.