From the President – DC Advocacy Trip Follow-up – Safe Cosmetics Act

HSMG ConferenceIndustry Advocacy & News12 Comments

Yesterday I met with legislative staffers in the offices of Reps. Jan Schakowsky, (D-Il), Ed Markey, (D-Ma) and Tammy Baldwin, (D-Wi), the original co-sponsors of H.R. 5786 The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010.  I was joined by Anne-Marie Faiola of Bramble Berry in Bellingham, Wa, Kayla Fioravanti of Essential Wholesale in Portland, Or, Lela Barker of Bella Lucce in Irmo, SC, and Donna Maria Coles Johnson of The Indie Beauty Network.

For full details on this bill please visit the SCA-2010 pages on the HSMG website.

At the last minute we were also able to add the staffer from Rep. Barney Frank’s office (D-Ma), who is a new co-sponsor of the bill.

Highlights of this meeting:

  1. The meeting was productive and informative – having the power-packed team of Donna Maria, Kayla, Anne-Marie & Lela there helped to maximize our time in front of the staffers.  Each of these team members bring their own areas of expertise to the table and we were able to make strong points and create meaningful dialogue.
  2. The Staffers were open and interested – they engaged us, asked questions and we were left with a few follow-up tasks.
  3. We were able to address specific concerns – we shared our concerns about the paperwork, registration and labeling.  To prove our point on labeling of trace elements we provided a case study of a lotion bar made with three ingredients (olive oil, cocoa butter & lavender essential oil).  Here is what the ingredient label would look like:


Olive Oil (Tri-Glycerides of Palmitic, Di-Glycerides of Palmitic, Palmitoleic, Stearic, Oleic, Linoleic, Arachidic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Squalene, Beta Carotene, Campesterol, Methylenecholesterol, Stigmasterol, Sitosterol, Fucosterol, 28-Isofucosterol, Stigmadienol, Brassicasterol, 7-Cholestenol,Ergostadienol, Avenasterol, Triterpene Alcohols, Tirucallol, Taraxerol, Dammaradienol Beta-Amyrin Germanicol, Butyrospermol, Parkeol, Cycloartenol, Tirucalladienol, 24-Methlene 24-Dihydroparkeol, 24-Methlenecycloartanol, Cyclobranol, 4-Methyl Sterols, Esters of Tyrosol, Esters of Hydroxytyrosol, Vitamin E (Tocopherols), Carotenoids, Oleuropein)

Cocoa Butter (Tri and Diglycerides of Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Lead, Oleic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Isoleic Acid, Beta Carotene, p-Hydroxybenzoic Acid, Vanillic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Syringic Acid, Phenylehtylamine, Theophylline, Aliphatic Esters, Aromatic Carbonyls, Caffeine, Theobromine, Diketopiperazines and Alkylpryazines)

Lavender Essential Oil ( Cineole Octanol, Octanone, Alpha Bisabolol, Alpha Cadinol, Alpha Humelene, Alpha Phellandrene, Apha Pinene, Alpha Terpinene, Alpha Terpineol, Alpha Terpinyl Acetate, Alpha Thujene, Alpha Thujone, Beta Bisabolol, Beta Pinene, Beta Thujone, Borneol, Bornyl Acetate, Camphene Camphor, Cineolealpha Terpineol, Carvone, Caryophyllene, Carophyllene Oxide, CIS Alpha Terpineol, CIS Alpha Bisabolene, CIS Carveol, CIA Linalol Epoxide, CIS Ocimene, Citronellal, Citronellol, Coumarine, Cuminaldehyde, Eugenol, Furfural, Geraniol, Geranyl Acetate, Geranyl Butyrate, Hexanol, Hexyl Tiglate, Isoborneol, Lavandulol, Lavandulyl Acetate, Limonene, Linanlol, Linalyl Acetate, Methyl Heptenone, Myrcene, Nerol, Neryl Acetate, Oleanolic Acid, P Cymene, Rosemarinic Acid, Sabinen, Terpinenol, Terpinolene, Trans Carveol, Trans Epoxy Linalyl Acetate, Trans Linanol Epoxide, Trans Ocimene, Ursolic Acid)

After this meeting we were able to get a last minute meeting with a staffer from the office of Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Ca).  Sen. Feinstein will most likely be introducing a senate version of H.R. 5786. (it is not usual for there to be both a House and Senate version of the same bill).  The staffer was very open to our concerns for small business and seemed interested in keeping a line of communication open as this process continues.

What can you do?

  1. Understand the Legislative Process.
  2. Understand the Issues.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the Talking Points.
  4. Determine who you should write or contact.
  5. Make your opinion known.  (Follow us on Twitter & Facebook)
  6. Let us know what you’ve done. (email:
  7. Donate to the Advocacy Fund.
  8. Most importantl, if you are NOT a member, JOIN!!

I would like to personally thank Donna Maria, Kayla, Anne-Marie & Lela.  If you have a chance to thank them yourselves, please do.  These women work tirelessly for you behind the scenes, taking time away from their businesses, families and lives.  They are all truly amazing and it is my good fortune to be able to work with them on this important issue.

Updates will be posted to the blog and sent to members in an eNews.

Leigh O’Donnell

HSMG President

12 Comments on “From the President – DC Advocacy Trip Follow-up – Safe Cosmetics Act”

  1. Thanks Leigh for taking the time out of your already busy life to go and represent the HSMG. You would have given a perspective that would be uniquely ours as the HSMG and together with Kayla, Lela, Donna Marie and Anne-Marie…history was made on the Hill! Now we’ll pray that their listening translates into action! Lets all get busy and write those letters to our elected representatives. Our voices will be heard!

  2. A great big “THANK YOU” to everyone who “marched on Washington”! I am glad that you were able to meet with the right staffers and get our points across as to how terrible this bill will be for our industry. Thanks again for your efforts.

  3. mahalo nui leigh & all the ladies that represented our industry! so appreciate your tireless effort to bring this bill to a level playing ground. so happy to be part of the HSMG & to have such strong and mindful people speaking on our behalf! doing all we can on this end too -we’ve got your back as well!!!

    aloha & mahalo,

  4. Thank you for the update! I agree that the meetings gave us a good place to start with and now the follow up and education just needs to continue. Thank YOU for everything you do for the handcrafted soap industry (as a volunteer no less!) =)

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  6. It is interesting to see such growth in our membership at a time when we all need to pull together. We must show our voice and fight to keep our businesses. Please take action to make a difference and support our efforts. Leigh and the others are working extra extra hard in their capacities for us. Thank you!

  7. I really appreciate your taking time to represent the HSMG in Washington. It’s especially impressive to me since you’re doing this in a volunteer capacity and not getting paid to do so.

    I’m feeling positive that the meeting was a successful one and you all got a lot of points across to the legislative staffers. You, Donna Maria, Kayla, Anne-Marie & Lela have opened the door. Now it is up to us to write our representatives to let them know that we are a united front. It would be a plus if we could get more people to join the HSMG and make an even stronger impact.

  8. Pingback: “Safe Cosmetics Act” protects us … from indie small business products : Ballard Beancounters

  9. Hi,

    Can you please tell us some specific updates from your meetings as mentioned above on 3 August 2010?

    Did the sponsors provide any answers to the following questions?

    1) Will soap makers who use purchased materials that have MSDS sheet have to test their final products?

    2) If a soap maker uses milk, such as goat’s milk will it have to be tested?

    3) What about customized soaps – how can they be handled?

    4) Will private label retailers will need to register in order to sell my soaps?

    There are a lot of useful services that could be added to this legislation if soap makers were to collaborate in writing and amending. I hope that you can also try to add some positive input as well as stating objections.

    Soap makers have an ethical duty to be transparent about all the ingredients used, and at this time that is not always the case as it is not required by law.

    Thank you for hosting this forum.

    – John Jay Miller

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