Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Please, folks, consider writing your congressperson about the many concerns of the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010. To find out how to contact your congressperson, go here. If you'd like some "talking points", see the last post, or visit this wonderful blog by the Soap Queen.

Here is the letter I sent today.

Congressman Latham,

I am writing to you to express my concern about the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010' (H.R. 5786). I run a small, natural-bodycare business with my mother. We have been in business for 12 years, and are proud to support our rural economy by using local herbs, grains, honey and beeswax to create our safe, natural, handmade herbal bodycare products. We support ourselves from this business; we built it from the ground up, on a shoestring budget, and now have a dedicated and devoted client base from Iowa, and around the world. People regularly send us thank you letters for making such pure, natural, bodycare products that keep them healthy and provide them with natural, affordable, locally-made alternatives to mass-produced bodycare products. But we are concerned that this Safe Cosmetics Act, while sounding good, has many fundamental flaws.

We use time-tested, basic ingredients to craft our simple products. We do not use complex chemicals or anything unsafe. Our ingredients are similar to what you would find in your kitchen: vinegar, raw sugar, oatmeal, herbs, oils. We FULLY AGREE that cosmetics should be produced safely, labeled correctly, and sold with the utmost concern for consumer health. But we believe this bill will NOT help these things, but rather, simply force small businesspeople such as ourselves out of business.

We believe this law is unnecessary. There are already laws in place to ensure that products such as ours are properly produced and labeled. The further labeling requirements stated in this bill would only make labels harder for consumers to read and understand, not easier.

We are also concerned that there is no full exemption for small businesses such as ours. We would be subject to the same (and unnessary, in the case of small businesses), paperwork and testing laws as large corporations such as Estee Lauder or Clinique.

I have worked in this industry for 12 years, and have a very good working knowledge of how small businesses such as mine operate. As a whole, we in this industry are ethical, and PROUD of our outstandingly good products. We are supporting our local economy, and ourselves, by producing extremely high quality natural bodycare products, and want nothing more than to continue to do so. I urge you to read this bill in it's entirety, and please, do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I assure you that while this bill sounds good, it really will do nothing to ensure consumer safety, and simply make it hard for small, ethical businesses to compete in today's already-tough marketplace.

Thank you for your time.

Maggie Howe
co-owner, Prairieland Herbs


Michelle said...

Wow Maggie I'm so glad you posted this. I may have made the mistake of jumping on board with this bill, so now I won't. Like so many other things the government is trying to control, the best policy may be to continue to educate people to think for themselves and be intentional in what they choose to eat, put on their skin ect. ect.

FairyLover said...

I signed the petition. Hope it helps.

Sarah said...

Sigh. I'll write. Unfortunately, I won't expect much to come out of it. I'm extremely jaded after my CPSIA experience. Congress seems hell-bent on passing overly onerous laws meant to make it appear that they are making us safer. These laws are crafted assuming that only giant superbusinesses do anything in this country and stomp all over the little guy. It is not that the small businesses can't comply - but it is difficult and, more to the point, costly.

As a further insult, after you have written to your Congressional representatives repeated times about the issue only to receive poorly-worded form letters in return (from Boswell: "thank you for writing to me about your issue." Couldn't even NAME the issue.), you'll receive, a year later, a flyer claiming that said Congressman Supports Small Business!!

argh. Frustrating.