We were delighted to host Jay Inslee, former Washington State Representative, at Bramble Berry last week. Jay resigned his seat in March to run for Governor of Washington State. I was particularly excited to get a chance to talk to Representative Inslee about his work for the Energy and Commerce committee, the same committee that works on legislation relating to our industry.
Just this last week, a new bill (HR 4395 – Cosmetic Safety Amendments Act of 2012) was introduced by Congressman Lance that would change cosmetic labeling and reporting laws for our industry. Main points of the bill include:
- Mandatory facility registration within 60 days for businesses
- Ingredient statements, using INCI names, for each product (note: it would not be for each fragrance or EO blend; just for each type of product)
- GMP becomes mandatory
- Labels need a phone number and a registration facility number
You can read the track the bill and find links to the full language here.
We continue to see bills introduced that would restructure how the FDA deals with cosmetics. Like all of the other bills, we are following closely, giving input where we can and continuing to educate lawmakers about our small, handcrafted industry. This bill does not have a small business exemption. We continue to advocate for a small business exemption from fees and paperwork. When you are building a business, there are only so many hours in the day and filling out forms takes away from building customer relationships, manufacturing and formulating. Mary Kay, Estee Lauder and Burt’s Bees all started from kitchens. Let’s give small business a break on paperwork and fees to ensure that the next Aveda (formulated his first product in his kitchen sink!) has a chance to thrive.
Jay Inslee asked a lot of great questions during his tour – and much to my delight, proved he had done his research about Bramble Berry when he asked me about my first business: breeding angry Russian Dwarf Hamsters in high school. We were honored that he came to visit us to ask what more government could do to help small business. My strongest feedback for him was around regulation and over regulation. It is not a good measure to judge politicians by the number of laws they pass; that’s how we end up with confusing laws on the books that are difficult for everyone to comply with. We loved our visit with Jay Inslee and would welcome the chance to share the Bramble Berry story, and the stories of our customers, with other elected officials.