Thursday, December 6, 2012
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Thursday, July 7, 2011
The so called “Safe Cosmetics Act” has been rolled out again, with even more attendant shock and awe PR from the misguided zealots at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics using misinformation on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database. If one were to rate the importance of this bill . . . what with a fragile economy in slow recovery, an unemployment rate stuck at over 9%, entire states in disarray (WI) or in near-complete shutdown (MN), so many environmental catastrophes (Exxon-Mobil/Yellowstone River Spill) or near catastrophes (Las Alamos National Laboratory Site Fire), (Nebraska Nuclear Power Plant Missouri River Flood) . . . it logically would be of low priority. To me, there appears to be so much more urgency to address myriad larger problems facing the Nation, I sometimes feel like Atlas with that giant granite weight crushing any hope that used to glimmer that our elected leaders are going to stop their partisan bickering an get on with the business of governing and helping remedy the continuing effects of a massive economic recession. I put the importance of HR 2359 at about a –minus –minus –minus ridiculous number. I don’t know about you, but I would much prefer our lawmakers to be focusing their time and efforts on some of these macro issues desperately in need of their attention. You know, like making sure our kids can go to school 5 days a week instead of the 3 or 4 now having to be imposed because of necessary budget cuts in many states. Hello! That’s surely going to help regain academic status in the world, isn’t it, and perhaps not possibly lose an entire generation to ignorance? And you can be damned sure my colleagues and I have more important things to do than weed through a poorly written bill, obviously crafted by those with little or no knowledge in the multiple scientific disciplines necessary to understand the minutia of cosmetic formulation, and especially pertaining to essential oils and natural plant extracts – the very ingredients consumers most want in their natural personal care products.
Samara Botane/Nature Intelligence opposes Safe Cosmetic Act 2011 (HR 2359).
As much as I and many other colleagues in the personal care, spa, herbal, natural perfume and aromatherapy industries may wish it weren’t so, we are once again faced with having to raise our small voices to defend the integrity of our professional pursuits to bring safe, effective personal care products into the marketplace . . . to avoid unnecessary, sometimes impossible regulations that are not going to make cosmetics any safer than they are now and only raise consumer prices because of the additional money, time and effort to comply.
Never mind that, when this bill was first introduced in 2010, we have previously pointed out that lead has not purposefully been added to lipstick by unscrupulous manufacturers gleefully twirling their mustaches, and that it naturally occurs as an element of the Earth’s surface and is in EVERYTHING in microscopic amounts, especially natural botanical ingredients. It is in your water. How many times must one state a FACT before it is understood and accepted? This is still one of CFSC’s major talking points. It has grown to epic proportions and wend it’s way into many lists of toxins to avoid, such as Green America’s 9 Toxins to Avoid in Personal Care Products, a document not referenced nor annotated with any scientific substantiation. Those inclined to do more research on this matter would quickly find “Easily Led” a comprehensive thorough investigation of the claim (now urban legend), ending with the caveat, “The bottom line is that U.S. medical literature has yet to record a single case of anyone’s coming down with lead poisoning through lipstick use.” Of course, the CFSC has trotted out “Lead in Lipstick” in an attempt to overstate the danger in a desperate, somewhat hysterical hue and cry that microscopic levels of lead in lipstick at the highest tested 0.00000306 are of sufficient danger to browbeat our legislative representatives once again to put forth a bill that will never make its way through the process to become law, as it is now written. All of this frenzied PR hype (rolled out by CFSC before the bill was even publicly announced) cannot counter “A Perspective on the Safety of Cosmetic Products: A Position Paper of The American Council on Science and Health”. Nor can it counter the response from the Personal Care Products Council in 2010, nor their current response. If you’d like pleasantly-presented, factual, scientific based information on cosmetic safety, PCPC has produced this series of short videos for the consumer. You can search this site for a specific ingredient or browse by product category. If you are looking for an easily-searched, more scientific database, try Toxipedia, where you will find no alarming leading questions like “Are you sure about your lotion?” or untrue statements like “Most sunscreens aren’t safe.” such as are found on EWG’s Skin Deep. You will also not be subjected to a ineffective numerical rating system for product hazard, just scientific research and facts, no opinion . . . how refreshing.
Never mind that we have carefully critiqued and debunked Annie Leonard’s cleverly crafted propaganda video “The Story of Cosmetics” as the supreme shock and awe scare tactic hype it is. Oh, but it’s cute, and cute appears to trump rational fact and common sense these days. The sad thing is that the frenzied imagery of a masked assembly line worker purposefully inserting poison (international skull and cross bones = SCARY) into a cosmetic container, followed by the same skull and crossbones ruthlessly stamped on a baby (even more SCARY) in the bathtub does not seem to invigorate the critical thinking necessary to separate fact from overblown fiction. And, this fictional video seems to incite, rather than inform those not capable of critically assessing information by comparing with credible reference and countering professional opinion. How sad.
Examine the current FDA Authority Over Cosmetics and you will see it is comprehensive. It is true that there are issues of concern to be addressed. I believe the FDA will continue to do due diligence to insure the safety of cosmetic products. I believe that the industry will be more than willing to assist this effort and comply with reasonable regulations. HR 2359 is not the answer. At this time when we have so many stressful problems facing us, let us focus on what is urgent and necessary.
Please join me in opposing HR 2359 by signing the petition.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
The Wingedseed blogspot blog has now moved to http://www.wingedseed.com/blog/
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Here’s a quick update and addition to our conversations surrounding FDA Globalization Act and CO HB 10-1248 Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act.
Friend and Colleague, Tony Burfield, has been fighting the good fight re: aromatic ingredient regulations in the EU. He runs the fab site Cropwatch and is a contributor on aromaconnection. He's headed to speak at the British Society of Perfumers Safety & Regulatory Issues Symposium at Cambridge on 11th March 2010, ...talk entitled "Is excessive regulation destroying the perfumery art?"
I've passed on to him what's happening here re: FDA Glob Act and CO HB1248. He's hopeful that there might be "some victory for common sense looming" and will be using information about our movement to help staunch EU march to over regulate. He is grateful for what we are doing here and passes on, "In SE Asia anti-IFRA and anti-REACH groups are forming, since producers of natural products feel that their livelihoods are being put in hexapody by the effects of creeping legislation." This is hopeful news.
P.S. new word for my vocabulary "hexapody". :-) Love those Brits.
In the aromatherapy products community, safety is by far the most discussed topic. We spend hours in online discussion groups, social media outlets, on our websites and in our blogs in an effort to convey accurate and safe advice to those using essential oils and ancillary products. Let us be very clear. We at Samara Botane want safe aromatherapy products that carry no or minimal risk to consumers.
Several years ago, many of our colleagues in the small personal care products industry joined with us as enthusiastic signers to the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics. Sounded good and what looked to be a way to carry a larger message about personal products safety. We trusted that CFSC would represent an honest, peer-reviewed scientifically verifiable position. A closer review now indicates that many of their references reflect insufficient data, some reflect low hazard and yet they include these substances in a larger list of potentially toxic ingredients. Additionally, we assumed and trusted that, as signers, our interests would be taken into consideration for any actions bearing our signatures as supporters. When the FDA introduced the FDA Globalization Act of 2008, it appeared as if CFSC was pressing for stringent, and perhaps unnecessary, regulations to be included in the act requiring product registration fees that would be prohibitive for many of the CFSC small business signers. At that time, it also began to become apparent that perhaps an overzealous rush headlong was overstating the immediate necessity for some of the requirements suggested to be included in the act and that perhaps established authorities were not being consulted to provide scientific documentation that would anchor CFSC’s position with actual facts and tempered scientific reasoning. There was an attempt to discuss our concerns with the leaders at CFSC, however, after several months we at Samara Botane requested we be removed as a signer when they were nonresponsive to our inquiries. It took over 2 months for them to comply with our wishes to have our name removed. We were not alone. Other small business colleagues did likewise and express similar stories.
Donna Maria Coles Johnson, President/CEO Indie Beauty Network, spearheaded a movement to insure member voices were heard at the FDA and she attempted to also dialog with CFSC. She and several IBN members travelled to Washington, D.C. on two occasions to meet with the Congressional Committee working on the FDA Globalization Act. The act has now been shelved, however, it could become active again. Donna Maria was diligent to communicate with and solicit input from IBN members throughout this process, gaining broad support from the membership. Here are some of her reports during this part of our story:
Why I Oppose New Cosmetics Laws That Do Not Contain Exemptions For Small Businesses
Why I’m Headed Back To Capitol Hill On Behalf Of America’s Small Businesses
Campaign For Safe Cosmetics: A New Report
It appears as if CFSC is now determined to press for these cosmetic ingredient requirements without consideration for small business exemption or insuring that other concerns are first addressed. They are now taking their efforts to the states themselves. As an endorsing organization of the CFSC, the Women’s Lobby of Colorado, is supporting state senator Boyd’s and representative Primavera’s HB 1248 The Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act. CFSC is prominently featured on relative Women’s Lobby documents. Based on Samara Botane’s experience with the nonresponsiveness of CFSC, and their failure to adequately advise signers we wonder if the 36 small Colorado companies listed here have expressly authorized CFSC or the Women’s Lobby to use their names on this document, which intimates support of the act. We wonder if they are even aware of the act or the broader implications of the CFSC agenda that could impact their small business. Additionally, we do not know where the Women’s Lobby is gathering their facts, but their fact sheet is not entirely accurate. Washington state has NOT passed a similar law as stated. House Bill 2166 was introduced in the Washington legislature and referred to committee in 2007 and no further action has been taken. There is not an existing similar law in Washington state.
We at Samara Botane encourage all small personal care businesses who either reside in or do business in Colorado to contact the legislators to oppose this bill. Please read these blogposts from colleagues with additional details, concerns and cautions:
Oppose the Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act Donna Maria Coles Johnson, IBN
Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act :: Take Action Immediately, Kayla Fioravanti, Essential Wholesale
Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act Kelly Bloom, Southern Soapers
Tunnel Vision, Robert Tisserand, Aromatherapy Expert and Author
Colorado Safe Cosmetics Bill, Cindy Jones PhD, Sagescript Institute
The Colorado Safe Personal Care Act: How Will it Affect You, Lisa Rodgers, Cactus & Ivy
You Can Die From Salt, Too, Anne Marie Faiola, Bramble Berry
Oppose Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act, Katherine Corkill, Sterling Minerals
From the President – Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act, Leigh O’Donnell, HSMG
Colorado versus the cosmetics industry, Sarva Natural Artisan Soaps
When Safety in Personal Care, Isn’t Safety At All, Jerell Klaver, Salus Natural Body Care
The Colorado No Product Law, Marge Clark, Nature’s Gift
Tilting at Windmills: The Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act, Emily Topsham, GCD Spa
Costly Confusion in Colorado: The Bubble Bill, Donna Maria Coles Johnson, IBN
Colorado Proposes Ban on Cosmetics It Claims Cause Cancer, Cosmetic Design
Bill Proposes the Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act, Global Cosmetic Industry
We hope we have included all to date, please add additional blogs or articles in your comments so that we can continue to assemble a comprehensive list. Thank you.
Marcia Elston and Rob Stitt
Samara Botane/Nature Intelligence
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
by Kayla Fioravanti
Reprinted with permission
If you live in Colorado or sell cosmetics into Colorado it is time for you to speak up. Colorado has a proposed a bill before them during this session known as The Colorado Safe Personal Products Act. This Act is so broad and vague that if it passes in this form the personal care shelves in stores would go bare. You can read the entire bill here. To follow the bill as it is updated click here and change the range to House Bills 1201-1250 and then scan down to 1248.
As of February 3, 2010 the bill was assigned to House Judiciary Committee. There is a hearing scheduled March 1, 2010 for sponsors and those opposing the act to be heard. The committee meets in room 0107 (in the basement of the Capitol) beginning at 1:30 pm.
You can find the phone number and email addresses of your Colorado State Representative here. The bill is sponsored in the house by Dianne Primavera phone # 303-866-4667 click here to email, Dennis Apuan phone # 303-866-3069 click here to email, Karen Middleton phone # 303-866-3911 click here to email, Joe Miklosi Cap phone # 303-866-2910 click here to email.
The Women's Lobby of Colorado is holding open meetings. They support this bill and even have the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics logo on their website. Sadly, they have fallen for the bad science that the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is using to cause hysteria. The voices of small businesses in the personal care industry need to be heard. The Women's Lobby of Colorado meetings are held at Colorado Education Association on the corner of Colfax and Grant—1500 Grant St—from 12:00-1:15 pm in the Bluebell Room. You can park free in their lot if you sign in in the lobby. Lunch will be provided. Upcoming meetings will be held March 3, March 17, March 31, February 3, April 14 and April 28.
I will go into the faults of this bill in greater depth within the next few days, but in the mean time let me point out some of the serious flaws of this bill.
"The bill creates the "Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act" (act), which prohibits a manufacturer from knowingly selling, offering for sale, or distributing for sale or use in Colorado on and after September 1, 2011, any personal care product that contains a chemical identified as causing cancer or reproductive toxicity." HOUSE BILL 10-1248
Quick Response: Will these chemicals be ones that cause cancer when topically applied at normal usage percentges or will this information come from studies in which rats were injected with 100% concentration of said ingredients? There is a big difference between putting an diluated ingredient on the skin than injecting an ingredient into the body at full concentration.
"THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (23) DECLARES IT TO BE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE PEOPLE OF THIS STATE (24) TO TAKE STEPS TO ENSURE THAT PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS SOLD AND (25) USED IN THIS STATE ARE SAFE AND DO NOT CONTAIN SUBSTANCES THAT (26) CAUSE CANCER OR REPRODUCTIVE TOXICITY." HOUSE BILL 10-1248
Quick Response: There should be acceptable limits set and not a complete ban on ingredients. Many things in nature in high doses are known to cause cancer; for instance the sun!
"2 (1) "AUTHORITATIVE BODY" MEANS THE FOLLOWING AGENCIES OR (3) FORMALLY ORGANIZED PROGRAMS OR GROUPS RECOGNIZED AS (4) AUTHORITATIVE FOR PURPOSES OF IDENTIFYING CHEMICALS THAT CAUSE (5) CANCER OR REPRODUCTIVE TOXICITY:
6 (a) THE UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, (7) OR ITS SUCCESSOR AGENCY;
(8) (b) THE UNITED STATES FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, OR ITS (9) SUCCESSOR ENTITY;
10 (c) THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND (11) HEALTH, OR ITS SUCCESSOR ENTITY;
12 (d) THE NATIONAL TOXICOLOGY PROGRAM, OR ITS SUCCESSOR 13 PROGRAM; AND
14 (e) THE INTERNATIONAL AGENCY FOR RESEARCH ON CANCER, OR (15) ITS SUCCESSOR AGENCY." HOUSE BILL 10-1248
Quick Response: I think this portion of the bill gets to the heart of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), aka Skin Deep, aka Campaign for Safe Cosmetics entire agenda. The EWG wants to be that "or successor agency" mentioned in in the above list, my guess is the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel is not listed as a resource for information on cosmetic ingredient safety. Having any open ended "or successor agency" declare what causes cancer and what doesn't is dangerous.
The EPA is an interesting choice as an expert on cosmetics. I read over there list of cancer causing chemicals and only a very small handful are used in cosmetics at all. I will give further detail on this list and provide a link to it this week.
"5 25-5-1204. Prohibition - sale of personal care products (6) containing unsafe chemicals. ON OR AFTER SEPTEMBER 1, 2011, A (7) MANUFACTURER SHALL NOT SELL, OFFER FOR SALE, DISTRIBUTE FOR SALE, (8) OR DISTRIBUTE FOR USE IN THIS STATE ANY PERSONAL CARE PRODUCT (9) THAT CONTAINS A CHEMICAL IDENTIFIED AS CAUSING CANCER OR (10) REPRODUCTIVE TOXICITY. (11) 25-5-1205. Enforcement by private citizens - civil penalty. (12) (1) ANY PERSON ALLEGING A VIOLATION OF SECTION 25-5-1204 MAY (13) BRING AN ACTION AGAINST THE MANUFACTURER IN A COURT OF (14) COMPETENT JURISDICTION IN THE COUNTY WHERE THE VIOLATION (15) OCCURRED. UPON FINDING A VIOLATION, IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHER (16) RELIEF AUTHORIZED BY LAW, THE COURT SHALL ORDER THE (17) MANUFACTURER TO CEASE AND DESIST CONDUCT VIOLATING SECTION (18) 25-5-1204 AND SHALL ORDER THE MANUFACTURER TO PAY THE (19) PREVAILING PARTY REASONABLE ATTORNEY FEES AND COSTS.
20 (2) A MANUFACTURER THAT VIOLATES SECTION 25-5-1204 IS (21) SUBJECT TO A CIVIL PENALTY OF UP TO FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS PER (22) VIOLATION PER PRODUCT FOR A FIRST OFFENSE, AND UP TO TEN THOUSAND (23) DOLLARS PER VIOLATION PER PRODUCT FOR A SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT (24) OFFENSE. PENALTIES COLLECTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE (25) DEPOSITED IN THE GENERAL FUND." HOUSE BILL 10-1248
Quick Response: Translation, the State of Colorado cannot afford to enforce this insane bill so they are leaving it in the hands of citizens to sue cosmetic companies. After California passed California Proposition 65 there was wide spread abuse. The lawyers got rich in California and companies wasted countless man hours and dollars defending themselves from all these lawsuits.
This bill does not address "naturally occurring" substances found in natural ingredients. For instance, lead would be banned, but lead is in water and cosmetics contain water. The issue is severely complicated with naturally occurring substances since there is a complete ban and not tolerable levels.
A great example of by-product of some cosmetics is formaldehyde. In 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure. In cosmetics there is not an unusually high or prolonged exposure to formaldehyde. tissues. Formaldehyde is water soluble and is not stored in fat so it can be metabolized very quickly with a half life in the human body of about 1.5 minutes.
For a list of formaldehyde preservatives read here. Formaldehyde is naturally produced our bodies, the air that we breathe, and even the food we eat. Formaldehyde is emitted as a natural by-product in the cooking of certain vegetables like, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.
How many small companies could afford to do business in Colorado if this bill passes as it is written today? Would you risk being fined $5000 or $10,000 when citizen take up bounty hunting cosmetic products for the promised cash reward? If you were completely innocent could you afford to defend yourself from these potential lawsuits?
Friday, January 15, 2010
I put my arms around him yes
and drew him down to me so he could
feel my breasts all perfume yes
and his heart was going like mad
and yes I said yes I will Yes.
According to the New Advent Encyclopedia Section, there were at least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs. One is described as a priest, another as a bishop and the third suffered in Africa with a number of companions, although nothing further is known. The popular, and now modern, customs associated with Saint Valentine's Day have their origins in conventional belief in the geographical regions of England and France during the Middle Ages. This belief stems from the observation that half way through the second month of the year, the birds began to pair.
Thus, in Chaucer's Parliment of Foules,
"For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne's Day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate."
For this reason, the day was looked upon as specially consecrated to lovers and the proper occasion for writing love letters and sending tokens to one's object of affection. The French and English literatures are rife with allusions to the practice in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Those who chose each other under these circumstances called each other their Valentines.
One romantic legend, according to History.com contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. Emperor Claudius II believed that single men made better soldiers and outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine defied Claudius after realizing the injustice of the decree and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
The oldest valentine in existence is thought to be a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the tower of London in 1415. Valentine greetings and tokens of affection were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, although written valentines didn't appear until after 1400. The first commercial valentine in the United States is attributed to Esther A. Howland who made elaborate creations with lace, ribbons and colorful pictures, known as 'scrap'. The scanned image at right is one of several elaborate, lacy valentines belonging to my long deceased great grandmother.
A typical verse:
"I send you this, with hope and fear
With hope that you will tender be;
Yet all the while, I tremble dear,
Lest you should not be fancy-free
I could not bear the hopeless fate
To hear the cruel words - too late.
Would that we could have such tender Romeos today to bare these fragile inner feelings and show such deep emotional love. Certainly not in this age of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Resident Evil 4.
In Roman mythology, Cupid (meaning 'desire') is the god of erotic love and beauty, aka Amor, and son of goddess Venus and god Mercury. We have exploited this young deity in art, literature, confection, adornment and perfume at this time of year, some would say to excess. And, while we moderns are probably not going to participate in the elaborate ancient celebration of Lupercalia, which occurred in ancient Rome on February 15, and when some of the weirdest customs were indulged, it is perhaps another precursor to our modern celebratory immersion in romance and fertility.
Those of us who garden in the northern climes can't ignore the fact that February 14 is also the approximate time for the beginning of the Spring thaw, another significant allusion to fertility.
While we may never know all of the facts of the history that lies behind Valentines Day; most of us are smitten with the idea of heartfelt expression and indulgence to bestow favor and admiration on those we care deeply about or wish to have a romantic relationship with.
Any expression of universal love in light of the overwhelming humanitarian disaster in Haiti must include our commitment to the brave and beautiful people of that impoverished country. During the first quarter of 2010, Samara Botane will donate 10% of all all sales (not just web sales) to Partners in Health. PIH works to bring modern medical care to poor communities in nine countries around the world. Their work has three goals: to care for patients, to alleviate the root causes of disease in their communities, and to share lessons learned around the world. Partners in Health has been in Haiti for over 20 years and its hospitals are untouched by the recent earthquake. They have been the first medical response to the disaster and their doctors and medical personnel are primarily Haitian citizens. Based in Boston, PIH employs more than 11,000 people worldwide, including doctors, nurses and community health workers. The vast majority of PIH staff are local nationals based in the communities we serve.
Valentine Gift Suggestions
Soft florals of Rose Otto and Ylang Ylang with hints of zesty Citrus, grounded with Vetiver & Sandalwood and a mere whisper of Black Pepper, Clary Sage and Juniper make this a lovely fragrant poem of innocent love. This fine perfume is a 30% perfume composition in certified organic perfumers alcohol, with moderate silage and a uniquely soft, sweet scent for young and old alike. Festively packaged in chic acetate pillow with sizzle fill.
Relax in the tub and treat your skin to nourishment and renewal
The additive dissolves in your bath to create a beautiful skin softening therapy - a few drops of the essential oil blend make it aromatically restful while adding additional skin healing, and the aromatherapy body lotion completes the experience of skin rejuvenation and renewal. Packaged in a charming little reuseable suitcase. Delightful luxury for the love of your life.
Please explore our website for lovely naturally fragrant gifts and indulgences for your loved ones. If you have difficulty finding what you are looking for, or need some ideas or explanations, or want to put together a custom gift, you can always email or call me.
Free shipping to you or your recipient on orders placed before February 8th, with an additional bonus gift for the purchaser of one of our recipe booklets for refreshing skin, hair and body treatments and aromatherapy ideas for health and beauty.
Sending fragrant thoughts your way for this beautiful Valentine's Day! Share your love abundantly with all you touch.
Marcia and the Samara Botane crew