In response to criticisms of regulatory gaps for cosmetics and personal care products, congressional lawmakers have drafted proposed legisla- tion aimed at strengthening the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) authority. Sponsors Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr (D-N.J.) and Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) announced the legislation at a mid-September 2016 news conference that included the mother of a child whose story of hair loss after using Wen® Cleansing Conditioner was featured in an August New York Times article.

“Millions of Americans assume the cosmetics they use each day are safe, however the reality is that cosmetics are one of the least regulated consumer products on the market today,” Pallone said.

A draft summary of the proposal highlights giving FDA the authority to collect and review cosmetic ingredient data to determine if ingredients are safe for cosmetic use.

Cosmetic manufacturers, processors, packers and holders would be required to register their facilities with FDA. Mandatory reporting of adverse events by cosmetic manufacturers as well as warnings on cosmetic products are also part of the proposal. 

A week after Pallone and Lance’s proposal was announced, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a hearing on the Personal Care Products Safety Act (S.B. 1014). Introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D - Calif.) in April 2015, the proposed law would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require, in part, registration of facilities, submission of cosmetic ingredient statements and facility regis- tration fees. It also would give FDA the authority to prohibit cosmetic product distribution upon determination of reasonable probability  that a product causes serious adverse health problems as well as mandate development and implementation of national cosmetic manufacturing standards.