"FDA may get more say over cosmetics" by Rachel Abrams New York Times April 21, 2015
NEW YORK — For decades, the Food and Drug Administration has had fewer than a dozen pages of instructions on how to regulate the millions of lipsticks, moisturizers, and other cosmetics sold each year.
Now a bipartisan bill, cosponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, proposes to give the FDA broader oversight, including the authority to force recalls.
The proposal has backing from the cosmetics industry and proponents of strengthening the agency’s oversight, including the Environmental Working Group, a left-leaning advocacy group.
Regulating cosmetics has not changed much since passage of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in 1938. The FDA can only ask companies to voluntarily recall products, and manufacturers are not legally required to disclose adverse health effects reported by consumers. (Many manufacturers say they do so anyway.)
Various efforts to get stronger legislation passed over the years have failed.
The FDA expressed dismay last year at some proposals offered by trade organizations and said it would drop negotiations with industry groups for new rules.
Under the new proposal, companies will be required to report “serious” adverse health effects they receive from consumers — reactions to products that result in death, disfigurement, or hospitalization, for example — within 15 business days. Companies must report all nonserious events — like a rash — in an annual report.
An FDA spokesman declined to comment.
Isn't Lauder a top-selling cosmetics company?