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82 Responses to “Should We Give the FDA MORE Power? Safe Cosmetics Act 2011”

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  1. [email protected]

    Thank you for speaking your truth! Standing up for what you believe in is scary, but so necessary! You Rock!

    • Crunchy Betty

      Thank you so much, lady (and thanks for being the first to pop in!). Governmental regulations have gone far enough; it’s time to start trusting each other and make our own decisions, rather than looking to some “authoritarian power” to decide what’s best for us.

  2. Lori

    I agree with you 100%, and if possible, even more. Thanks for writing this.

  3. Misty Adams

    I wholeheartedly agree with you. I think, especially with access to all the cruelty-free and natural options we have as consumers, that one can make an educated decision as to what products to buy. If someone wants to continue to buy products that may contain possible carcinogens, so be it. More legislature just confuses the issue. If there is a company that produces harmful products, consumers can inform themselves and boycott and eventually that company will have to change or go under.

    • Crunchy Betty

      Amen, Misty. I’m curious, though, given your thoughtful response: How do YOU make reconciliation with the notion that “most people don’t have access to vital information in order to make proper choices?” I’ve had a few of those viewpoints here in the comments, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

      • Misty Adams

        I feel that as many people that have Internet access, either at home or in public schools or libraries, they would be able to find out whether their products of choice contain harmful ingredients, are subject to animal testing, etc. There are also helpful books people can check out or purchase on the subject. I’ve spent a lot of time researching products and what would be good choices for me. I’m just hoping that since there is a current trend in beauty products toward “natural” ingredients, that the major manufacturers look more to those ingredients and stop using so many chemicals.

  4. Lorie

    Boy CB, you would love Ron Paul! Great article.

    • Crunchy Betty

      Full disclosure: I consider myself a voluntary socialist libertarian. I believe everyone should have the freedom to make their own personal choices, but I also subscribe to the belief that it’s in our best interest, as humanity, to help each other when needed. However, no one should ever be forced to “help” or do something they don’t want to. Make sense?

      I have big love for Dr. Paul, that’s for sure.

  5. Rosalyn

    Brilliant. Found myself nodding along to your words. Regulation is scary but education and freedom to be educated is the way forward.

    • Crunchy Betty

      So, question to you, Rosalyn: How do we further the cause of “education?” That seems to be the hot topic in the comments here.

  6. Joy

    I also agree with you. The FDA and the government in general has too much control already. Hands off!

    • Crunchy Betty

      Yep. Hands off. It seems like the push for more regulations (in all areas) happens to coincide tidily with the public’s grand waking up and taking control of their own lives.

      Sometimes I think it’s happening for a reason, y’know? Like these things are cropping up in order for us to decide what we truly DO want.

      Maybe it’s a good thing. :)

  7. KarinSDCA

    I have the Safe Cosmetics Act on my facebook page and I have to say all the linked articles make me VERY uncomfortable. I hadn’t examined my feelings about it too closely yet due to many higher priorities at the moment. I am actually researching for my homework that is due in an hour or so right now. I clicked on your page (open tab) thinking it was something else (related to homework) and updated it without reading. Then, I started reading and realized it was you and this issue I’ve been avoiding. I read and you have put into words what I have been feeling without really feeling all along.

    I AM concerned about safe cosmetics. However, I also feel more regulation is the opposite way to achieve it. Our political system is overloaded these days and good intentions don’t translate well into every day actions by lawmakers and regulators.

    Thank you for speaking your mind and bringing this to the forefront for me.

    Back to the study of emunctories….

    • Crunchy Betty

      Should I be ashamed that I’ve never even heard the word “emunctories” before? You’re going to have a lot to teach me soon.

      Anyway, I agree: It isn’t an all-or-nothing approach. We shouldn’t have to make choices between freedom and safety. It is fully possible to have both. We are on a precipice right now where so many people are “waking up” at the same time. It’s glorious, but it also sparks fear in the hearts of those who would wish to control.

      Let the waking up spread like a giant ocean of goodness, I say. WE DESERVE IT.

      • KarinSDCA

        No shame, LOL, I just learned the word emunctories a few weeks ago myself. I love saying it, too, and have been finding ways to work it into lots of conversations. LOL Emunctories are elimination pathways in the body. Our skin (sweat), bowels (stool), urine, lungs (breath), etc. are the ways our body naturally releases things it doesn’t need.

        Interestingly, when our emunctories are open, we can be exposed to different “toxins” and they pass right through. It is when our emunctories are not functioning properly that the toxins build up and cause problems.

        So, in a way, all this talk about safe cosmetics might benefit us all more if it (education/discussion) were centered more around keeping our bodies healthy in a more general way (versus specifically about the safety of cosmetics). The human body is truly fascinating and remarkably adaptable!

        As for HOW to educate all socioeconomic “classes”, I think the answer is “in as many ways as we can think of”. No one way is universally as effective as approaching something from several angles. The one way that has been with humanity through the ages is word of mouth, oral traditions, verbally shared stories…different cultures describe it differently, but it is all the same…face to face sharing. The lady below who writes about her small town could share the information in casual ways in her everyday endeavors – talking with her friends, for example, or the grocery store clerk – and/or in bigger ways – perhaps hosting a workshop or teaching a class in the local library.

        Lots of love to you!

  8. Katy

    Are you really sure it’s as easy for women to educate themselves well enough to choose truly natural alternatives without any help or regulation as you seem to imply? I recall several blog posts you’ve authored debating the relative “natural-ness” of various products and ingredients (Borax? Stevia?). If it’s that difficult for you to decide what is and isn’t safe, how on earth are the women out there who don’t make it their career supposed to figure it out? The FDA doesn’t have nearly as much power as you seem to believe (they literally can’t even pull chicken they KNOW is infected with salmonella off the market – that’s why all those recalls are voluntary), and it’s unlikely government regulations would effect any but the most harmful and toxic chemicals. They can’t. They have to have a gazillion and one studies backing them up before they begin to pull things off the market – meaning they won’t be interfering with anybody’s ability to choose one sorta-bad-for-you shampoo from another… but they very well might force companies using known carcinogens to label their products as dangerous. This is a form of education, too. And honestly, the women who can’t afford the equipment or time to hunt around online for natural beauty blogs deserve the truth, too. Your assumption that all women can be educated this way, and should be able to find this information on their own is, honestly, teetering into a bit of classism. It, like so much else, leaves behind those without the resources to access information – it’s so easy to forget about those women while defending the rights of the middle class to buy toxic soap, but they’re often the most in need of information.

    • Crunchy Betty

      I have to be honest: I was waiting for someone to invoke the “classism” argument here.

      I’ve thought a lot about that point over the last year, and have finally decided that it’s much more classist to assume that people cannot make their own decisions for themselves.

      I respect and love everyone – everyone – enough to allow them to make their own choices and decisions, even if I don’t agree with them.

      Should there be more education out there? YES. Should beauty standards evolve to such that so many women don’t feel it necessary to slather on synthetic chemicals? YES. Should companies STOP deceptive advertising and corporate/governmental sordid sleepovers? YES.

      But, really? Should we be introducing more legislation that will suffocate small businesses (who are historically FAR more ethical than large corporations)? Really? Is that how we make everyone “safe” from the cosmetic boogeyman?

      • Katy

        Except, of course, that there hasn’t been any indication that small businesses stand to lose anything in this. If they aren’t using toxic products, they actually stand to be LESS impacted by this legislation than large companies. But the widely known products, the ones that are readily available and cheap, those are the formulas more likely to be regulated. And since those are the products most likely to be used by those very same women who are more likely to need help… it might be time to put on big girl panties and work to help others, even if you might not profit off of them. You have the resources to make a choice. Many don’t. And you’re advocating letting them continue to suffer so you can make your choices without being hampered. Or, possibly, so you can grow your newly minted beauty brand without interference. Either way, it seems terrifically selfish.

        • Crunchy Betty

          I invite you to read this again: http://www.essentialublog.com/blog/2011/7/5/the-impact-of-the-safe-cosmetics-act-2011-on-small-businesse.html

          And, finally, I think thoughtful, measured discourse on this subject is much needed (even if we disagree), but snide personal speculation and/or jabs do not belong here.

          Take care.

        • StephanieE

          I am really offended that you chose to belittle someone for their point of view. Standing in what is true for YOU is admirable, just as it is for Leslie and others here on this blog and elsewhere.

          It takes a great deal of time, effort and dedication to have a voice and represent trying to help others make their way through the weeds in an easy effective way.

          Using your voice to intentionally harm someone else does not express intelligence but immature pettiness.

        • KarinSDCA

          How long have you been reading this blog, Katy? Is “terrifically selfish” truly how you feel? If so, are we reading the same blog? Have you seen all the ways Leslie gives to others?

          Presenting your point of view is great. I respected your opinion in your first response. Not so much after I read your second reply. Name-calling and belittling someone isn’t cool.

          Most people truly do want to help others. The differences lie in the how. I think this is what makes us humans so fascinating and beautiful!

          I wish you all the best.

          • Katy

            I started reading this blog right from the very beginning. When it was “Hey, I’m super excited about this, and I want to share it! You can buy it or make it at home, but you should try it!” The recipes didn’t always work, but they were fun to try. I liked the enthusiasm. And I’ve been watching it slowly turn into prize giveaways for referring friends and constant entreaties to buy a book. Perhaps if I’d come in later, it wouldn’t bother me so much.

            Disagreeing with someone, or even questioning their motives, isn’t name-calling. It’s not even belittling them. I did, and do, question the motivation behind this stance, precisely because I remember when this blog was about sharing with as many people as possible, and have since watched it slowly change as the profit focus increased. But saying something you don’t necessarily want to hear doesn’t automatically equal name-calling and belittling.

          • @Katy, you started off making some excellent points. Now you have degenerated quickly into bitterness, nasty accusations and poorly-formed assumptions. Too bad, your rational input is certainly valuable.

            Offering one inexpensive ebook during the entire course of her business does not deserve your criticism. Think for a moment how much it costs to maintain this site. How much it costs for Leslie to purchase materials for her experimental recipes and posts.

            If you truly have been enjoying all her work for free all this time, how dare you come here and lay her out for trying to earn some money so she can continue this great work.

            Not to mention, she’s giving away HALF of all proceeds back to her community. Back to people like you. In a unique and sincere show of gratitude.

            At this point, it’s best to either get back on-point or admit you have no valid argument. But don’t come here just to slam Leslie. It just makes you look silly and there’s a much more important conversation going on here right now.

        • Susan Sawhill Apito

          @ KATY – re: “Except, of course, that there hasn’t been any indication that small businesses stand to lose anything in this. If they aren’t using toxic products, they actually stand to be LESS impacted by this legislation than large companies.”

          First, Crunchy Betty echos the thoughts, feelings, opinions, concerns, and more of pretty much everyone I know in the natural cosmetics industry. It certainly echos what I think. The indications that small business stand to lose EVERYTHING is in the foundation and very fiber of this bill. You want to make a lotion with locally grown and processed olive oil? Forget it, because the grower is not willing to conduct mandatory animal testing on that ingredient. Same for pretty much any local ingredient like beeswax, herbs, botanicals, essential oils, etc. Who can afford to test ingredients for no reason other than to provide a committee tests to examine, in most cases, for ingredients that have stood the test of time and have no real concern regarding safety. Then move on to the manufacturer. Who has the money to test every single product to prove it cannot cause any disease to anyone under any circumstance? There are products and ingredients that we need to be concerned about; products like hair straighteners (brazilian blowout and the lye based traditional straighteners) for example; and my personal pet peeve – products with synthetic fragrances. But this bill asks manufacturers to prove a negative — prove something can’t happen (i.e. shea butter lotion cause cancer for example.) You can’t prove something “can’t” do something…you can only prove it can. So the whole bill is written in such a way that is makes no scientific sense! And of course, if this bill passed any company that conducted these mandatory animal tests would no longer be able to sell in Europe where such animal testing is not allowed. So the laws in the American market would prevent companies from selling in OTHER countries where animal testing is not allowed! I could go on and on…but want to end with THANK YOU. Thank you to the bloggers, website owners, manufacturers and consumers who stand for safe cosmetics, safe ingredients, but AGAINST this terrible bill!

          • Tina S

            I can’t put it any better, Susan.

            I make a number of purchases from local shops and online shops, little independents who use home-grown and natural ingredients. These companies …ah, heck, I would lose them. They are already struggling in this current economic climate. The products they made are so unique, there are no replacements. These are the visions, talents and creativities of the owners. This bill would strangle them.

            I want to say more, but I’m going to leave it at that. Thank you.

    • MandyMoo

      I agree with you, Katy.

      • Katy

        Hurrah for helping others! =)

        • Melissa

          If “helping others” means putting my neighbor (or Leslie, for that matter) out of business so that those who “cannot” educate themselves are kept safe from questionably dangerous chemicals, that doesn’t sound like much of a trade off.

          And telling someone to “put on their big girl panties” is INCREDIBLY belittling and snide. And I think Karin’s point was valid, if you truly read all of Leslie’s blog, you know that she struggles with the desire to succeed while helping others all the time. Many of us do, but Leslie especially (from what I’ve read). Calling her point-of-view selfish just doesn’t fit.

          I think Leslie’s to priority is always to help others, but I certainly cannot say the same for the government.

  9. Well, I have to admit I had to do a bit of research before reaching any conclusions about this bill. Leslie, I saw your tweet earlier today and read the article on the Huffinton Post then and I was not immediately struck by what the big deal was. I almost tweeted back at you about why you opposed it.

    I got the email about your new post and was glad to read it to understand your thoughts behind your opinion, which I value greatly. Among your passionate words, I still wasn’t quite convinced. I read the comments and I felt that Katy brought up a valid point…won’t this bill force large companies to be more proactive about using safe ingredients? Won’t this be a move towards natural beauty for all?

    Still unsure, I looked at the link you posted in response to Katy and it fell together for me at last.

    It looks to me as though while well intended (obviously we don’t want all sorts of nasty toxins in our cosmetics), the SCA doesn’t seem to be the route to go. The impacts on small business look to be drastic and will surely put a lot of them out of business despite the supposed “exemptions” that exist for them. I wish there was a way to better regulate those companies that require regulation while not adversely affecting our favorite all natural small businesses. But I guess you can’t pick and choose who the laws apply to.

    Ideally, yes, everyone should educate themselves and make the healthiest decisions for them. Then companies with dangerous products would be forced to change their ways simply to stay in business.

    But it’s true that not everyone has the time, nor feels the pressing need to educate themselves about all natural beauty options (I’m sure we’ve all had the friend who just doesn’t understand why we’ve started washing our face with honey).

    So, what I’m taking away from this is that I oppose SCA 2011 and that it’s OUR job, as ambassadors of CRUNCH to spread the word about natural alternatives so that those who WOULD be interested in making a change have the information and ability to do so.

  10. Juliet

    CB
    You are so right about “scary”.
    I am a third generation Hereditary Witch, so I already know about staying below the radar. Went and read the bill. If I had ever even considered turning my way of life into a business, this would crush me. I remember when I was little(the 70’s), vitamins and diet pills were starting to become all the rage. Even back then, my Mother talked about fear of the F.D.A. banning herbs and other “natural’ ingredients.

    • Crunchy Betty

      No kidding. I know the threat has been around for a long time that herbs and supplements (as a general rule) could be banned, and that there’s legislation out there right now that could potentially classify any substance used to “heal” as a medication (like vitamin C). It’s all so, so, so scary.

      I suppose it has to happen, though, because the natural remedies and ways to heal yourself are becoming so popular now, despite the push to declare it quackery. How else are the corporations going to stay in control, but to limit our freedom of choice?

      I guess the thing about the SCA, for me, is that once you start limiting freedom of choice, those limitations grow and grow and grow. It may take years before vitamins, herbs, and supplements are banned, but legislation like this (and others that have recently passed) open the doors for later restrictions.

      • Juliet

        CB
        Not to be all conspiracy theory, but doesn’t it seem like the government has tried to do everything it can to stop people from using alternative methods to heal themselves, and jump on the patented drug band-wagon instead?
        In the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, people using “home remedies” were called “rural” or “ignorant”.
        In the 60’s and 70’s, they were called “hippies’ or “on the fringe” (of society), somehow implying an anti-american or unpatriotic agenda.
        In the 80’s (when I was a manager of a GNC) they said amino acids and herbs were dangerous,(as if pharmacuetical sleep aids werent)?
        And now, they’ve realized that people are educating themselves about natural vs pharmacuetical, co-op vs grocery chain, local vs big corporation, etc.
        So they’ve chosen the strong arm method.
        Make it almost impossible for small local businesses to keep their heads above water, while still providing us with the quality, natural products we desire. Or make the natural products we purchase to create our own so expensive, you have to choose between safe, natural skin products, and paying your electric bill.
        Thus forcing us to buy “BIG CORPORATION”.
        Poof!
        They’ve regained control of our money and our choices.
        Maybe it’s just me, but I see a very disturbing pattern.
        The government has done everything it can to stop us from using our own natural remedies. From shaming us, to segregating us from “normal society”, trying to put a scare in us about natural ingredients, and finally, strong-arm tactics. All for a lousy buck.
        I’ll stop now, I’ve worked myself WAY UP!

        And don’t get me started on Bigfoot, or the Kennedy assasination, we’ll be here all night.

        • I agree. The government seems to be banning all the ‘natural’ ingrediants that help people. For example, Red Yeast Rice has been proven time and again to naturally lower cholestorel, yet the FDA says its medically unsafe. Its a simple plant extract and has been used for thousands of years before making its way to Western Medicine. But they do push the Stanton drugs, which cause liver damage, and other harmful side effects.

          Too much government in our everyday lives already.

          Okay, my little tanget and two cents worth.

  11. Thank you. Very well put. I’m so tired of the govt feeling like it needs to make all of our ‘choices’ for us. I’m a small family farmer, I drink raw milk, I love my raw honey & don’t feel the need for the govt to intrude on my lifestyle. I want the freedom to make my own choices based on what I believe is best for me, and the freedom to make my own mistakes. I don’t wear a seatbelt or a helmet because it’s the law, I wear them to protect myself. I eat good, wholesome foods because it’s good for me. I don’t use bad cosmetics because they are bad for me, not because of some regulation.

  12. Ronda

    I am with you.

  13. Wow! It took a lot of courage to bare your thoughts like that and I commend you. I’ve been on the fence about this issue too but you make really good points which lead me to sway my viewpoint. I agree with you that the FDA doesn’t do their job anyway as they allow dangerous drugs to be produced and promote unhealthy diets for people, so how can we expect them to regulate cosmetics effectively? I am also afraid for the wonderful indie brands we love so much and rely on to provide us with safe products. The last thing I want is for them to be affected negatively. You’ve really made me think and I know you’ve made a lot of other people do the same. :)

  14. Lindsey

    This comment is not meant to endorse the Safe Cosmetics Act, but I do think there is a large flaw in your argument. That flaw is assuming that everyone has the same information you do or has access to the same products you do. You state “Do you and I make exceptionally healthy choices? Most of the time. Do we wish everyone would make the same choices? Yes. But should we MAKE everyone make the same choices? NO.” This assumes that everyone has the ability or information to make the exceptionally healthy choices you do.

    I work and live in a town that has a very different population from the larger city I grew up in. The majority of the people in this town only have a high school education, if that. A large number of people here have no internet to research these issues or access to books/magazines that explain some of these issues (our library is quite poor). There is nowhere in this town to buy more natural beauty products, I have to drive an hour to get some of the ingredients necessary to make my own products….people without cars cannot do that. They have no earthly idea that the shampoo they buy to wash their child’s hair might have things in it that can hurt their child. It reminds me of the “swill milk” problems in the 1800’s. Parents did not know that they were giving their children milk that could kill them. Those parents were not making “choices” between healthy and unhealthy. They did not have the information or ability to make healthy choices for their families.

    I am truly asking this question, not being snarky: How can the vast majority of people (educated and uneducated, rich and poor, rural and urban) be taught what is safe to use in personal care and other products when the information they receive from stores, product labels, the government, television, their friends and families, etc. tells them that the only real choice they need to make is between Suave and the Wal-Mart brand? Sorry for the length of this, I’ve just been thinking about this a lot.

    • Crunchy Betty

      THANK YOU, Lindsey. This is how you have a well-measured conversation that solves problems. I absolutely fully and completely respect your thoughts and you bring up thoroughly valid questions.

      I’m not sure it’s an easy solution – educating people takes effort on all of our parts. The answer, clearly, isn’t wide-sweeping legislation that affects everyone (which it sounds like you agree with).

      You know where it starts, though? Places like the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (which I have zero issue with, other than the push to impose more governmental regulation). It starts here. It starts by talking to people about the issues. And if they don’t care? Then they don’t care.

      The thing is, this legislation, from what I understand, has very little potential to remove harmful ingredients (that we wouldn’t choose to use). Instead, it requires full disclosure, as well as continual tests and restrictions on ingredients that “may cause harm” to someone.

      What this could potentially mean: First, all constituents in a formulation would have to be disclosed on the label. So instead of “beeswax,” you would see “palmitate, palmitoleate, hydroxypalmitate,oleate esters of long-chain aliphatic alcohols, triacontanyl palmitate, cerotic acid.”

      (And keep in mind, it is up to either the suppliers of ingredients or the manufacturers to do all of the testing for these compounds – as well as the testing for any natural contaminants that may be found within. Who do you think will pay for these tests? Either we will – through raised prices – or they will, and they will go under.)

      It also means that things like lavender essential oil may be removed in some way, shape, or form, because there are people out there who have sensitivities to it.

      My point in bringing all of this up:

      The people who don’t care about what’s in their personal care products will not care when the labels grow to mammoth sizes, either. The only way their lives might be different is through higher prices. However, small businesses and those of us who like to buy our own ingredients will suffer through those higher prices and even potentially NOT having access to what we desire anymore.

      SO, to sum it up:

      I make very distinct monetary and comfortable living sacrifices by choosing the natural ingredients and products I do. We would NOT have to worry so much about utility bills or paying rent if I weren’t insistent on it.

      But not everyone wants to make those choices, whether or not they’re educated. Not everyone wants to choose between organic foods or a new game for the Xbox. I wish it weren’t that way, but I support the right of everyone to live the way they desire. Even if I (personally) think it’s unhealthy.

      I hope that helped. It was long. And sort of winding.

      Again, your comment is super appreciated, and if you want to discuss this more, I am ALL ears (or eyes, as the case may be).

  15. Thanks for the honest perspective. You are absolutely right, it is everyone’s right to choose which products they want to use. I feel like if everyone were to accept that any and all mainstream packaged cosmetics and beauty products likely carry SOME risk, we could move on from all this drama. I can trust manufacturers and distributors of handmade, natural products to sell me safe products. I know that if I use certain ingredients myself they are safe, when purchased from reputable sources. Mass produced products from companies like Johnson and Johnson and Proctor and Gamble will likely always have questionable ingredients in their products. Let’s just accept that fact and purchase such products at our own risk.

    • Susan Sawhill Apito

      “I feel like if everyone were to accept that any and all mainstream packaged cosmetics and beauty products likely carry SOME risk, we could move on from all this drama. I can trust manufacturers and distributors of handmade, natural products to sell me safe products.”

      After years inside and outside this industry, I actually believe the opposite! I see the corporate brands as being the ones to fund any new innovation and research into new green technologies and ingredients. We have ingredients used in cosmetics based on historic use, and use by native peoples for example. But it is the large corporations who have the money to research and fund scientific proof to document the value of these ingredients. Then smaller manufacturers follow their lead. I see very little innovation coming from the Indie manufacturers. But what they are able to do is make products closer to nature but in ways that they have a shorter shelf life but as a result, can get away with less or more “gentle” preservation methods. They can use local ingredients. So where is the down side? The FDA has very few laws but there are laws, and to a very large degree these laws are often ignored by the handmade, natural brands. I see this at every craft fair and farmers market. Products without the mandatory INCI ingredient names. Product with less than honest marketing (aka drug claims made for cosmetics such as anti-aging, healing, etc.) And where is the FDA? With funding cut by many, many millions of dollars they simply cannot “police” cosmetics to the degree they legally should be. But people die of drug side effects – people die of contaminated cantalopes! NO ONE has ever died as the result of using a cosmetic to date. Does that mean they are all safe. No, I do not believe they all are. But the FDA can’t do the job they legally are able to do now…how will even MORE laws make the situation any better? It won’t. Until our economy is in a better place, we as consumers HAVE to take personal responsibility to choose what we want to use. We know cigarettes kill…but people still smoke. We know texting and driving kills…but people still text and drive. Fast food contributes to poor health…but there is a line at every McDonalds at lunch time every day, everywhere. The people in line are not uneducated about their food choices, they are making an informed choice to eat garbage. But just like McDonalds now offers better options…consumer pressure is the best way to make change happen. IMHO!

  16. Courtney

    I wish I had something intelligent to contribute to this conversation, but unfortunately all I feel I can add is that I completely agree with you, followed by the first thing that popped into my head when I finished reading this post: Can I get an amen up in here!?

  17. Wow, just WOW. I had heard a small bit of discussion about this bill but had no idea how overreaching it is :( I seriously need to do more research on the whole topic. I applaud you for making your feelings known. I want to shout “hooray!” to hear your voice of reason. As a small business owner myself, it is scary to see more legislation passed meant to regulate “everyone” and yet most everyone will admit that govt agencies do not have teeth to enforce those regulations. It’s like having a law on the books but no cops that will arrest you for breaking it. What’s the point? The little guys will try so hard to comply because they don’t have the big bucks to pay for lawyers to keep the govt off their backs (like corporations do).

    As a general statement though, watching the movie Food, Inc was what got Ken and I into our raw milk business in the first place. We were like most folks, happily oblivious to the REAL source of our food and (more importantly) food RULES. It is obscene to realize the people who work in the govt in a regulatory capacity turn around and go back to work in the private sector for the very companies they were meant to be regulating! It is all about “scratching each others backs” for the big boys, their big money and BIGGER lobbyists. That’s where all the little guys get left out. The regulations that are passed can only be met by the big guys. That’s how little shops get forced out.

    Years ago, the feds also imposed their own rules on the use of the word “organic” so that consumers would know who to trust etc. However, when you research what is allowed to still be called organic and when you realize that businesses only have to submit properly worded paperwork that no one ever actually checks is,in fact, truthful — well, consumers will realize that the only way to verify what is in your food and your products is to KNOW the people/business/farmer who is supplying it personally! If you have the ability to visit a soap maker, go – learn what goes in your products you choose to purchase. If you want the freshest naturally grown produce, milk or meat – go to the farm! Does anyone really believe that the companies who mass produce in huge far-away factories, have anyone watching to see if they are doing what they say they are doing? Isn’t that a bit like the Wizard of Oz? “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, just believe what the Wizard is telling you!” ;) And if you don’t have the ability to visit those small businesses that produce the products you want, do it yourself! You know your produce is clean if it came from your own backyard! The soap you make yourself – well, you’ll know exactly what went into it :)

    I’m a Crunchy Believer, Leslie – you have my vote!

    • Beignet05

      You have put my thoughts into words exactly. Organic food is the perfect example of government regulation that is not working. We’ve recently started changing our eating habits and DH said, “Organic is what’s important, right?” I said, “No, local is better (usually). We can talk to the farmers at the market and ASK them how they farm.” It might not be certified organic by our wonderful FDA (or USDA) but I’m sure those Amish farmers aren’t interested in the incredibly EXPENSIVE process to getting organic certified. And I can trust them not to lie to me when I ask how they fertilize and such.

  18. cara

    It’s true that not everyone cares what goes into their cosmetics. People assume that what’s being sold to them is safe. It would be ideal to have a demand-side revolution in which educated consumers refuse to buy unsafe products. There are many hurdles to this, though. As others have mentioned, education is not trivial: it takes time, effort, and a bit of expertise to sort through what’s ok and what’s not. Many people simply don’t have the resources to do this. In the domain of healthy food, it’s been a long road to get to the point where we are now. It’s taken scores of books, documentaries, news articles – but more importantly an obesity epidemic fueling chronic disease – to get to the point where we’re just beginning as a nation to desire more wholesome foods.

    I don’t believe we should wait for people to get sick enough to demand safe products. If this were just about regulating things that might not be great for you, but it’s not clear that they’re really bad for you … I would understand your frustration. However, it’s also about things that are known to be toxic and harmful (e.g. brazilian blowouts), which we should have the power to regulate. And we should be checking on the things we’re not so sure about. A company is only interested in having an appealing product that sells, so what is their incentive to test long-term effects of their products?

    Regarding small businesses, this bill would only apply to business whose “annual sales receipts for cosmetic products” are greater than $2 million. Businesses who make less than $10 million wouldn’t have to pay any regulation fees, and fees would be prorated based on companies’ sales. The bill also states, “The Secretary shall provide technical support to assist small businesses in carrying out the requirements of this subchapter,” in pretty much every subchapter.

    I’m sure this is not a perfect bill. However, I believe that the overall effect would be a positive one. For anyone interested, the actual text of the bill can be found here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.2359:
    and it makes reference in places to the 2010 bill which is here: http://thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.5786:

    • Lindsay

      But Cara…even with food people have a different idea of what is healthy and what is not. Who gets to decide what’s best for everyone? I believe that saturated fat from healthy animals is imperative to good health, but the government certainly isn’t buying that. I give my children raw milk…and we’re all aware that the government would like to put an end to that. I mean, we can certainly cite studies that show that saturated fat is harmful to our health…would the government be justified in banning it? It’s just been fairly recently that new studies have popped up showing that saturated fat isn’t the demon that it’s been made out to be for the last 50 years.

      My point is not that the chemicals in beauty products could potentially be beneficial, but that the government is not all-knowing. In fact, they have a pretty cruddy track record if we are being honest here.

      When the Food Safety Modernization Act passed small farmers were exempt, but just today I read an article on the front page on MSNBC that was discussing the need for regulating farmers markets. How long do you think that exemption is really going to last? What makes this bill any different? Eventually we will have no choice but to buy from massive corporations because they were the only ones who could afford to comply with all these demands and regulations. I highly recommend reading Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal by Joel Salatin. It gives great insight into how all of these rules and regulations crush the small producer and the only thing that lasts are the big outfits that have ZERO interest in the customer’s well being.

      • kylieonwheels

        Further to your already good points, Lindsay, I would say this. The government(s) (I’m in Australia) are NOT genuinely interested in the health of consumers. If they were, they would be using their legislation to ban things like processed food, like growing tobacco, like wars based on control of the drug trade, and so on. They wouldn’t be taking kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies who profit from our illness. They would use their powers for good and not for bureaucratic red tape. I’m sorry to say it, this proposed Act is NOT about protecting consumers.

  19. Gelato

    Perhaps the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 (H.R. 2359) is another attempt by the government to create new jobs in our country? By all means I am not a know it all and do not claim to be. I have one of the highest government security clearances. This meaning I have experienced some behind the scenes rhetoric and actions through work experience. What I will and have the freedom to say is that the motives behind our government are dubious. Big surprise, huh? The government experience mixed with my international big business participation has left me uneasy in how the two commingle. I was reared in a small town, poor, and did not have the best schools in the country. It was my choice . . . my personality . . . something in me that drove me to WANT to live better, get out of poverty, and learn everything I could—however I could (and still do). Some of us are similiar, while some of us are different. With all of this being said, I agree with Leslie. Freedom to make personal decisions is vital to me. As unfortunate as poverty is, there are so many personal factors/decisions that go into troubled situations. On the flip side, what about people who have the ability (readily available) to research issues and do not? What about people who are kind enough to share information, their views, and sparks your interest to react or proact? It comes back to personal decisions for freedom. Even though I grew up without a whole lot, my family could purchase the local newspaper, a state newspaper, and a national one too. The mayor of my small hometown gladly supplied me with research material on many matters. Most of the time the editorial section speaks of areas that I may need to consider, possibly research, and act. I’m speaking of me as a child growing up and now in 2011 too. It seems EVERYONE has phones and can research or request information by telephone. What I am saying is if one digs deep enough, most of the time information to make an informed decision can be made. That is, if it is important to YOU. Just because someone chose as their career to be a physician doesn’t mean that they have a duty to heal the entire world. I regret that anyone would make a “comment” here to personally stab anyone. Matters that become personal should be handled personally. Where I come from, when discussions go to that level, it speaks volumes about the person doing the stabbing. People that I consider professional ALWAYS agree to disagree without the knife, blood, and mess. “We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.”
    ― Mother Teresa

  20. kylieonwheels

    Betty, honey, wow. You literally, and I mean actually-literally-this-really-just-happened, you literally take my breath away with the manner in which you present your views on this and the greater impact of it all. I agree completely, one hundred percent. I am so overwhelmed with thoughts about this that I don’t even know where to begin. I am in Australia and this doesn’t directly involve me as a citizen of the USA, but rather as a citizen of the world.

    To all the people above who debate the ability of people to ‘access information’, I ask you where you learnt to tie your shoelaces. Was it the internet? Was it an expensive book? Or was it handed down to you by the people who raised you? We are a collective. We are humans, all living and dying together. We are making bad choices and looking to blame others for that.

    This very week I spoke with a girl that I barely mentioned my no-poo’ing to, something like 3 or 4 months ago. She told me that she had read about it in a magazine and decided to give it a go. I nearly cried with excitement. I never suggested she try it. I had to stop myself from getting carried away with it all when she told me. Let her do it at her own pace.

    People further up the comments list have asked how we educate? Yes, we try everything. But the most important thing we do is to demonstrate. Be the change you wish to see. Only a few blog entries back, we discussed how to encourage our men-folk (I mean that adorably affectionately :)) to shave crunchy. The best tip I saw was to let him come to the conclusion himself. Not a day later my mother explained to me that the reason Dad has finally taken up the arthritic diet that I’ve been banging on about for oh, 6 months, is because he talked about it with lots of people and came to the conclusion himself. Education isn’t about force-feeding ‘knowledge’ upon people, it’s about helping them come to the conclusions themselves. Regulation and legislation will not achieve this.

    I am thoroughly against over-regulation of society. I believe strongly that it removes our incentive, ability, and responsibility to think for ourselves and make decisions for ourselves. Over-regulation is making us stupid.

    I wish you all the best from the very core of my soul with your campaign CB.

  21. RPh and Mom

    I am a pharmacist who must deal with FDA regulations and mandates on a daily basis. I agree with those comments that state that the FDA has little recourse to actually enforce all of the things they are supposed to. Unfortunately even the herbal product and supplements are regulated by an outdated law that is basically safe until proven otherwise, with only a notification (no actual data, or process explanation, etc.) that a new product is coming to market. I do not agree that more regulation of industry is the way to go. I agree that more people shouls be educated. But maybe instead of forcing companies to more testing and disclosing everything in wording that a Doctoral candidate would have a hard time understanding it would be better for those large companies using the unsafe ingredients to fund the educational efforts of others who are on the consumers level and not in the direct employ of the company.

    I also agree that we all need to come to our own decisions. But those of us that have the resources to do the research need to be informational resources ABOUT BOTH SIDES in our own communities in order to allow others to come to their own personal decision and solution.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. As a biochemist, I worked in an FDA-regulated industry for over 10 years and I can say with no hesitation that the agency is completely useless. Its only value to our society is the fines and fees it collects, making it at least partially self-sustaining and requiring less of our tax monies. A rarity in gov’t agencies.

      They push unsafe medications through for big pharma all the time. They do not regulate off-label use for medications, even in children. They participate in cover-ups. Their system is teeming with corruption and stupidity and to even suggest that more of that would be to our benefit makes my pretty little head spin.

      Parents, educate yourself. Then teach your kids. THIS is what we need more of.

  22. Melissa

    I disagree with this legislation, but moreover, I have a real problem with ANYONE taking away my choices. As many here have pointed out, where does it end? Herbs, sat. fats, …who knows what will be next on their agenda. The REAL problem here is that the government is out to help us, the consumer, they are out to make money. Anyone who doesn’t see that should take a look at the dairy industry and the regulations that a dairy farmer must jump through to sell his product, while the BIG, corporate farms are the ones making (and often breaking) the rules.

    On the subject of education, I understand that 18% of US homes have no access to the internet, and 30% don’t use the internet as a source of information. I understand that their are lots of people in this nation who have no idea what is bad for them, or how to find out. I also know that the majority of those people DON’T CARE! 1 in 5 Americans still smoke, despite every effort by the government (other than banning tobacco) to get them to quit. The average American eats fast food 3 times a week, despite all the evidence of how terrible it is for your body.

    Do I wish that these people would wake up? Absolutely! Do I think the government SHOULD ban tobacco and fast food? Absolutely NOT! It is not the governments place to say what I can or cannot put into (or ON) my body! And do you really think the government taking it away would stop the use of these things? Yeah, right.

    No amount of education, public service announcements, or regulation by the government will stop people from doing whatever they please. People do all sorts of things which are illegal, KNOWING they are bad for them. Some of them continue to do it when it’s killing them!

    There are some people who simply don’t know, and I do wish there was a solution to that problem as well. Educating those who WANT to be educated is important, and THAT is what our government should focus on. Public service announcements and product safety information mailings are a few of the things the government could do without fully regulating the industry. They could get companies with safe products to pay for these things as well, as an advertiser. If Garnier were to continue in their move to healthier and more natural products, what better way to advertise them than to send out mailers discussing all of the dangerous chemicals that their products no long contain and their affects on the body?! Isn’t that what is already starting to happen in magazines and TV commercials anyway?

    It’s all a process, but complete government take over and regulation is NOT, under ANY circumstances, the solution. They will just pervert it into another way to rip off the American public!!

    • Beignet05

      I love your example of Garnier. A brochure “discussing all of the dangerous chemicals that their products no long contain” is a fantastic idea. Because what happens next is the two part chain. First part, consumers say, “Wait, what? My shampoo used to contain dangerous chemicals? What else in my bathroom has those?” Second part, companies say, “Well crap, Garnier went out and admitted we use dangerous chemicals and then they went ahead and changed the formula. We better get started on reformulating things and get a brochure ready, we’re gonna start losing sales by the end of this quarter unless we do.”

      The trick is to get these companies to start doing that. . . any ideas?

      • They are going to replace a chemical by another… One that’s brand new, unheard of, and it’s going to take years before we can prove that it is even worse than the first one they used.
        The problem in this country is that you have to prove something is harmful. Should not they prove it is safe for long term use before putting it on the market (like genetically modified food)?
        And I totally agree with Jenny, biochemist, above. Could not have said it better!

        • Beignet05

          Good point about replacing the chemicals with another. There have been countless times scientists prove something is bad but it stays on the market. Look at GMOs! The FDA did have a board that proved it might be harmful and they asked for more time to do more research. But they were denied it. So even though the proof is there, the FDA is paid off by whoever wants to put the product on the market and they give it the go-ahead. In this case, Monsanto has people everywhere and they get what they want: no labeling and no more FDA research. Sad. . .

  23. Melissa

    Bravo! Thank you for putting your opinion out there and saying it the way you did. More people need to be able to share their views without trampling all over everyone else’s. I was really moved by the part about believing in something yourself, but not forcing others to believe the same thing. I think this applies to anything and everything! Taking away people’s choice just gets us into trouble. Education is the real key – but figuring out how to educate the masses is the hurdle we need to cross.
    I really liked reading everyone’s comments and appreciate those with differing views that put them forth respectfully and prompt a conversation about it. We don’t all have to agree, but we can still live together amicably. Bravo!

  24. Excellent article of awareness (I agree all the way and Thank you for standing up and speaking the truth-love your blog)…I stopped using cosmetics all except an eyeliner by Neutragina, but I rarely wear it (once or twice). Big companies know that many consumers are now aware of harmful ingredients and are going all natural so these big companies hide the entire list of ingredients on their products. For example, many of Victoria’s Secret line of cosmetics have no ingredients listed on the labels…that’s a sign right there that they’re probably loaded with parabens among other harmful chemicals (horrible!).

  25. Megan

    While I agree that this bill in its current format is likely too overreaching and unlikely to be effective, I do think there needs to be some legislation requiring all ingredients be listed on packaging, (for instance, what is in the ingredient commonly just called “fragrance?”) It is impossible for consumers to make educated decisions if complete information isn’t available to them.

    If all ingredients are listed, a consumer could research and decide for themselves what ingredients have benefits that outweigh the risks, and vice versa. For instance, I know that using nano particle zinc oxide may be bad for me but I would not be happy if it was banned because I have decided, based on my own research that I am willing to take the risk of using it in order to get the benefit, in this case, good sun protection that goes on more sheer (and hence means I will actually wear sunscreen!) and will not irritate my skin or break down once it is exposed to UV radiation.

    If ingredients were all listed and consumers could read about them, cosmetics companies could no longer “hide” dangerous ingredients, like phthalates in “fragrances.” Presumably, the more people find out about these ingredients, the more they will pick other brands that do not use them and cosmetic companies will change formulations in order to win sales back.

    • I had the distinct honor of meeting Leslie this morning. Previous to our meeting, I had only read her blog…I’ve only known about Crunchy Betty for a couple of months. I hadn’t even read this latest post yet, it wasn’t until after she left that it finally hit my inbox and I could about the cosmetic act that she had mentioned when she was here this morning.

      After meeting her, and seeing that she embodies the passion for ethics, honor, commitment to natural products that she writes about on her blog, my first thought was to agree 100% with her post.

      But, I decided to research more before I formulated my opinion. I have skimmed through the text of HR. 2359, the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, you can see it here: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h2359/text?version=ih&nid=t0:ih:90. And, I read her whole post, most of the comments here and two other links that came up when I googled Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011. I feel slightly better educated now, at least enough to make an opinion. Another awesome source for very well thought out commentary on each individual section of the bill is: http://personalcaretruth.com/2011/07/safe-cosmetics-act-2011-sec-612-registration-of-establishments-and-registration-fees/.

      There are three things I feel strongly enough to comment on.

      First, it reads that microbusinesses (defined as having annual sales receipts for cosmetic products that do not exceed $2,000,000.) don’t have to register or pay the registration fee. That’s good for small businesses.

      Second, the microbusinesses do have to comply with all of the labeling requirements that the billion dollar businesses have to comply with (one L’Oreal website stated that it grossed in the first half of 2010 over 2 trillion dollars, to give you an idea…I unfortunately forgot to copy and paste the URL.). They obviously have the time, money and staff to carry out all of the paperwork, research and product testing the bill requires. Leslie (if she were to ever decide to sell her products, but plans not to) and small businesses like her would have to label all of their ingredients. That’s good. I’m all for reasonable product labeling. But, they’d also have to provide the “Secretary” (who is referred to throughout the bill) with all of the ingredients for EACH product, and ALL of the names and addresses for the sources that sold them the ingredients. Still OK, in my opinion.

      However, what stands out the strongest to me is that, as the bill is currently written, it would bog small businesses down with so much paperwork, time and possibly some expense, that they would run out of time to create and market the products they wish to sell.

      I fully support food labeling and am thankful food products have them. If they weren’t labeled, I might inadvertently feed my peanut allergic son something unidentifiable (by sight or smell) that contains peanut products. It is not that I am uneducated in what to buy, it’s just that if the food were not labeled, I would not be armed with the information necessary to make the proper decision. My recourse would be to not buy anything that is processed. And that would be OK, but it sure makes life easier being able to read the ingredient list.

      So, in the same way, I agree that cosmetics should be labeled.

      My third (and final) comment about the bill itself is that my general feeling is that I cannot trust the government or government policies to protect me from all risk. I can trust them to make decisions that favor big, money making and money paying businesses, as has recently happened with Rawsome Foods and Ranch Foods Direct. I can trust that they will (due to those same big money paying businesses) do things through policy or otherwise, that will ultimately close down small food producing businesses or, I have now learned, small cosmetic producing businesses.

      I think the bill is a step in a good direction, but only in the labeling and regulating that bad ingredients are not allowed. Otherwise, I do not. There is too much room for the “Secretary” to make decisions independently, that are not laid out in the bill. Those independent decisions to be made by the “Secretary” are what scare me about the bill.

      As a person who used to think the government was out to protect us, through my raw milk and cheese making education business and the people I have met through it, I have learned that is, unfortunately, not the truth.

      I agree with Leslie, that with each new bill that is put out to regulate, actually, many of our freedoms become at risk.

      Lindsey

      • Megan, Sorry! I didn’t mean to click “reply” to your comment, but to post a new comment. It looks like we’re on the same page about labeling though!

    • Susan Sawhill Apito

      “While I agree that this bill in its current format is likely too overreaching and unlikely to be effective, I do think there needs to be some legislation requiring all ingredients be listed on packaging, (for instance, what is in the ingredient commonly just called “fragrance?”)”

      Ingredients already do have to be listed on cosmetic labels, in INCI language. The word “fragrance” is correct…but is the way companies protect their trade secrets. Since I don’t know what ingredients are in “fragrance” – I never buy products with fragrance. If I buy products that have a scent, that scent can only come from natural, whole, essential oils or botanicals…and unless the label lists the correct INCI name (botanical name and method of extraction) I don’t buy them.

      So…how would the safe cosmetics bill change things regarding the listing of fragrance…it won’t. The bill contains a loophole which allows a company that would suffer a financial hardship by disclosing an ingredient currently listed as a trade secret, to continue to list it that way. All they have to do is petition to keep the information a trade secret! So anyone who tells you this bill will result in companies disclosing what ingredients are in their synthetic fragrances is lying to you!

      • Megan

        What I meant was that I don’t agree with the current bill, but I do think legislation which requires ingredients to be listed, (without loopholes) is a good idea and should be proposed instead of the current bill. I don’t buy products with fragrance either for the reason you mentioned. I just wish that they would come up with a bill that would really make a difference, not just make it look like they’re trying without actually holding large corporations accountable. Then again, that’s what most bills are these days, smoke and mirrors!

  26. Melanie

    Don’t even get me started on the FDA – they are motivated solely by money and rich corporations – until smearing honey on your face makes someone a billion dollars, they’re not interested!!
    What is amazing is that they let so many unhealthy and dangerous products on the market, and target healthy ones (I just heard milk thistle is now being banned – is this true???) I mean really….

    Here in the UK (I’m American, but have been living in London for a few years) its no different – the EU (our unelected leaders) decide on things all the time without it even being made public. Recently they just passed into law that the way an animal is killed does not have to be disclosed on the label – what??? With the huge issue of halal meat here (some people say its humane, others abhor the practice) the bottom line is however you feel about it that the ability to make an informed choice has been completely taken out of our hands, the only way I found out about this is thanks to my aunt, who has the time and luxury to research these things. Luckily, I have an organic company that meticulously regulates all their suppliers with a transparency to their customers that is refreshing – I trust them so now exclusively buy all my meat and most everything else from them. Expensive? What I spend a month on food for just myself would feed a family of four shopping at a regular grocery store (the equivalent of $560/month)

    It’s great that I have the luxury of being informed and the money (I make some sacrifices, no doubt) to be able to protect my health in this manner. It’s a shame that instead of making the information readily available to everyone, they conceal the information, and hide the fact they’ve done it!

    Rant over….(for now)

  27. Ani

    Brava, Leslie! I think the most frustrating thing in all of this is how the FDA is viewed as a super-hero whose only purpose is to protect “we the people.” We wouldn’t get more or better information. We would just get *different* information.

  28. MamaLovey

    Just last week our lovely government made it illegal to drink raw milk from your own personal cow in Wisconsin. I smell conspiracy theory here. I do not trust them to do what is in the best interest if the people. No siree. Not one iota.

  29. Ginny Carl

    Not to be overly dramatic, but the more restrictive a government, the more freedoms we have that are infringed upon by governmental actions such as taxation and regulation, the sooner we lose our inalienable rights. You can’t legislate smart and you can’t legislate the end of stupid. We are human beings – some will choose well and some will not. It’s slippery slope and less effective (and more costly!) to legislate better choice – education and a free economy are more effective and long lasting. Thanks for the information and thoughtful opinion.

  30. anybody

    If those who can educate themselves do and make better choices then eventually companies will have no choice and will have to provide better products then those who cannot or choose not educate themselves or make better choices will have to because that is all that companies are offering. Voting with your dollars is almost better than a ballot.

  31. Jenn

    This legislation makes me want to cry. I purchase all of my personal care products (other than those I make myself) from truly wonderful small business people who would probably be hurt by this. They are conscientious, caring people and I have come to know most of them very well.

    My past dermatologists said I had sensitive skin, which is why I got rashes no matter what “great for sensitive skin” product I used. That made no sense. Once I eliminated almost every chemical laden product from my home and personal care products my skin has completely healed. This was accomplished by great blogs such as this and purchasing natural products from small businesses, not by purchasing faux all natural products by large companies. I tried all those, they failed. Regulating them will just mean that I will have a list of all the unnecessary chemicals in their products. It’s not going to make their products any better. I much prefer supporting small businesses, I think they are one of the great hopes for our future as a country.

    I’m going to start ranting now so I will stop. Thank you Crunchy Betty for your hard work to stop this legislation from passing.

  32. Eli Blue

    I can’t tell you how disappointed I was to read this post and then the majority of the comments that followed. It amazes me that after 30 years of voting in representatives who “don’t believe in government” but do believe in deregulation, we (the people) blame institutions like the FDA for not doing enough to protect us. And the solution to this is to regulate industry less?

    But, that’s okay because people should have the choice to use cancer causing products if they “want” to, because it’s their responsibility to educate themselves? It is unfair and unempathetic to expect that people can become experts in every realm of their lives. And the people who will suffer the most from unsafe products are likely to be babies and children. I believe that, as we are lucky enough to live in a democratic society, we should strive to take care of each other, and to protect our most vulnerable.

    And, by the way, the “personal choice” argument was used to defend child labor during the decades it took progressives to make it illegal. Positive change can be frustratingly incremental. It’s easier to give up, only look out for your own interests, and blame the government.

  33. It’s a shame when people that truly do care about the health of their community/nation engage in splitting behaviour when confronted with other members of that same community that don’t share their opinions. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t make them wrong-evil-stupid.

    My two cents (or ha’penny):

    1. Yes, I agree, toxic ingredients shouldn’t be in skin care. Or, in fact, anything that potentially harms any part of the ecosystem.
    2. I have no right to tell other people what they are permitted to use/eat/wear/think as long as those choices do not harm anyone but themselves. Nor do they have any right to remove/inhibit my free agency. I am an adult and quite capable of making my own decisions. I find the paternalistic flavour of some of the arguments in favour of increasing the amount of governmental influence in private lives quite sad.
    3. The argument that it is only priviliged societal members that have the ability to do (and interest in) the research needed to make informed choices is offensive. And again, rather paternalistic. Perhaps if we taught children to develop their minds as tools of inquiry instead of needing to teach to national (incredibly low) standards, the argument would be moot.
    4. I am less than impressed with the efficacy of the FDA; I see no reason to believe that this legislation will do anything except narrow the potential choices available to the public whilst failing to address a billion-dollar industries’ manufacturing processes.

    Disagreeing with this particular piece of legislation doesn’t mean that I want people to be harmed. It simply means that I don’t think that this is a healthy way to address the problem.

  34. Julia

    Betty, you’re wonderful.  I already adore your blog for myriad reasons, but this post really warms my libertarian heart.  I agree entirely that government regulations cripple honest small businesses and our personal freedoms.  To those who disagree and support such legislation: you are entitled to your own opinions, but there are many of us who prefer to make our own personal decisions, regardless of whether they are healthy or not, and that right should be respected.  Thanks but no thanks to the nanny state.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  35. Great article CrunchyBetty. You cannot trust FDA. Every single drug that has ever been recalled by the FDA… must first have been proven to be “safe and effective” by FDA

  36. Dear Crunchy,

    I LOVE this article! I 100 agree with the side of the argument you have put forth AND I am personally trying with our website to focus our energies on the positive things, ingredients and chemicals that people can decide to want to look for. We have a project in the works that anyone is welcome to join in & collaborate with us on.
    If you or anyone would like to know more please email me at mylocalshops at yahoo dot com

    We do have 2 ingredients to avoid lists available. But now we are wanting to be a positive force. Especially now that the EWG had their ‘Think Dirty’ app. How about a ‘Think clean’ app instead to promote something positive!

    Cheers!
    Danielle
    Organic Natural Beauty Directory
    :)

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