Introduced by Representative Sean Patrick Maloney from New York state and co-sponsored by Representative Grace Meng, also from New York, and Rep. Janice Schakowsky from Illinois, the Natural Cosmetics Act (H.R.5017) aims to define the terms “natural” and “naturally-derived ingredient” as they relate to personal care products. According to Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, falsely labeling products as “natural” does not qualify as misbranding and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently has almost no authority to take these products off the shelves.
To date, no details are available regarding the exact content of the bill. However, according to Rep. Maloney, the bill requires cosmetic products sold, labeled, or represented as “natural” to contain at least 70 percent natural substances, excluding water. The bill would also require suppliers to conduct Carbon-14 testing which they must submit to manufacturers and would give the FDA authority to issue a cease distribution order, public notice on the FDA website, and voluntary recall authority of any product deemed misbranded under this act.
“Right now, the FDA doesn’t consider it misbranding for companies to label products as ‘natural,’ even if they contain toxins like coal tar, asbestos, and other harmful chemicals. That’s just not right,” said Rep. Maloney. “Increasing protections, transparency and oversight of personal care products is desperately needed. (…) All Americans deserve nothing less than full transparency and accountability from companies that market their products as ‘natural.’ I look forward to this important bill moving through the House, and I urge all of my colleagues to support it.”
The bill is endorsed by clean beauty brand Beautycounter and its founder and CEO Gregg Renfrew. “While words like ‘natural’ can signal a safer product, there are currently no industry standards. For years, Beautycounter has been asking Congress to create clear standards for marketing terms and so we are thrilled to support the Natural Cosmetics Act. This landmark bill sets clear and reasonable standards for companies who want to claim an ingredient or product is natural, while instilling confidence in today’s savvy consumer.”
Beyond the endorsement, Beautycounter is also mobilizing its base in support of the bill, including its clients and network of more than 45,000 Independent Consultants across all 50 states.
Other brands such as BaboBotanicals and NakedPoppy also endorsed the bill, as well as biotech beauty ingredient maker Aprinnova and retailers Credo, Follain and Ivy Wild.
According to Beautycounter, the natural beauty market accounts for $70 billion in the USA.