Prepare, Sustain, Thrive and Survive Simply

Lawmakers want FDA to crack down on soap makers

This is an expanded version of the article originally posted and removed due to a photo copyright issue. Several people asked it to be replaced, so here you go. I’ve made a couple of edits and additions in response to both the overwhelming concern about S.1014 and comments that it’s nothing to worry about because the bill contains exemptions for people making soap for their families. I am posting a link to the bill and contact details first. If you already read the article,  jump down for important (imo) considerations about the nuances of what soap and cosmetics are according to the FDA, along with a few other comments and links.

Bill Information: 4/20/15 Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), introduced S.1014: A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to ensure the safety of cosmetics. It is referred to as the Personal Care Products Safety Act. Here is a great summary by Modern Soap Making, if you  don’t have the stomach for 94 pages of legaleze.

As of 5/6/2015, S.1014 is in the  Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) will determine if it moves past the committee stage. Phone: (202) 224-4944, email:

Click and scroll down here to see who else is on the committee. If one of your senators is there, or a presidential candidate, why not contact them . They love to hear from their constituents. who are trying to do good for their families and the planet by living a simple life based on traditional skills are facing yet another assault. The Handmade Cosmetic Alliance says new regulations, proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), will put small artisanal soap and cosmetic makers out of business.

The Handmade Cosmetic Alliance posted this form on its website that can be used to reach out to elected representatives. 

The form includes a statement on behalf of handmade body care product makers that says, in part:

“My products comply with FDA labeling requirements and the ingredients are commonly known (i.e, olive oil, oatmeal, sugar, coconut oil, etc).  My best customers are in my community. I cannot afford the user fees proposed in S. 1014. Further, my business has no capacity to do the reporting requirements for each product batch (10-50 units) as it could be several hundred FDA filings per month.” Those who sell online will also be affected.*

It is fair to mention here, that HCA’s director, Deborah May, also built a kitchen table soap operation into a $10 million business called Wholesale Supplies Plus, that looks to be very much impacted if the bill becomes law.

The view of Sen. Feinstein and her corporate backers (listed below) is that the Personal Care Products Safety Act  is necessary to make the world a safer place by scrutinizing “everything from shampoo and hair dye to deodorant and lotion.” She introduced the amendment to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, because of troubling negative health effects from chemicals used in personal care products.  She says the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act should be more progressive like laws in Europe rather than antiquated US regulations in effect since the 1930s.

The Personal Care Products Council, which supports S. 1014, provides an article with a different view on cosmetic regulation in Europe, (Kingham and Beirne, of Covington & Burling LLP)

”It is sometimes suggested that cosmetic products are more strictly regulated in the European Union (EU) than in the United States and that the EU system is, for this reason, a better model than its U.S. counterpart. In fact, however, the approach to regulating cosmetics in the EU and the United States is fundamentally the same.”

Problem ingredients Feinstein cites include:

Methylene glycol, (an ingredient in the popular hair smoothing treatment known as the “Brazilian Blowout”) turns into formaldehyde when heated, and exposure has been reported to result in hair loss, rashes, blistered scalps, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, shortness of breath, vomiting and increased risk of cancer.

Propyl paraben, a preservative used in a wide range of products including shampoo, conditioner and lotion, mimics the hormone estrogen and can potentially disrupt the endocrine system and cause reproductive system disorders. She then goes on to say “consumers deserve to know that the products they use every day are safe.”

Huh? She just said they’re not safe, which is why I and many women already choose to spend a few dollars more on natural products. Feinstein does not propose to ban these dangerous ingredients from soaps and cosmetics, just regulate them with tests and warning labels, fees, and recall authority. She thinks some of these products, though harmful to health, magically become “safe when used by professionals in a salon or spa setting.” My question is; after a half century of so called feminism, why are women still knuckling under to  industry pressure and voluntarily paying to have these poisons applied to their bodies on a regular basis? But I digress.

If the industries that back this law are really so concerned about safety, why don’t they voluntarily make healthy products, like the small time producers already do?

It sounds like the problem could be more easily solved with an education campaign, and subsidies for the natural soap makers so they could offer their products for less and increase their market share. Why not include them on EBT cards so poor women can buy them — I mean, if you want to really be “progressive,” we need to be able to get them at the Dollar Store.

Other potentially dangerous chemicals Feinstein wants to clamp down on include:

Diazolidinyl Urea, which is used as a preservative in a wide range of products including deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath and lotion.

Lead acetate, used as a color additive in hair dyes.

Quaternium-15, a preservative used in a wide range of products including shampoo, shaving cream, skin creams and cleansers.

The new law would require the FDA to review at least five chemicals used in personal care products each year… Wait a minute, isn’t there a revolving door between FDA, industry lobbyists, and Congress? Is this yet another example of bureaucratic job security while the small operator is forced out of business? Remember what happened last year, when the FDA wasted taxpayer (your) money by attacking Dr. Bronner the soap maker, for pointing to a scientific study that said coconut oil is good for you?

Feinstein says her proposal is a “streamlined national system of oversight” and it won’t cost the taxpayer anything because it’s funded by industry user fees (until they pass the extra cost to the consumer, that is). Big multinational soap makers may be able to manage the increased fees and paperwork called for by Senate Bill S.1014 but the the Handmade Cosmetic Alliance says it will cripple cottage industries like those in its association that generally employ 1 – 3 people.

The senator assures the new law encourages public input with many opportunities built in for consumer groups, companies, medical professionals, scientists and the public to weigh in …but according to the Handmade Cosmetic Alliance, they’re already not listening.

“The HCA had several meetings over many months with the sponsor of S. 1014 and presented information to support small business exemptions similar to those the 2011 Food Modernization Safety Act (FSMA). Sadly, a decision was made to use prescription drugs and medical device standards for small handmade cosmetic businesses.  This does not make sense.  My products are soaps, lotions and scrubs made largely with food-grade ingredients found in any grocery store,” according to the letter provided by HCA, that natural soap makers can send to lawmakers.
Companies and brands that support the bill:

Johnson & Johnson, brands include Neutrogena, Aveeno, Clean & Clear, Lubriderm, Johnson’s baby products.

Procter & Gamble, including Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Clairol, Herbal Essences, Secret, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Ivory, CoverGirl, Olay, Sebastian Professional, Vidal Sassoon.

Revlon, brands include Revlon, Almay, Mitchum

Esteee Lauder, brands include Esteee Lauder, Clinique, Origins, Tommy Hilfiger, MAC, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Donna Karan, Aveda, Michael Kors.

Unilever, brands include Dove, Tresemme, Lever, St. Ives, Noxzema, Nexxus, Pond’s, Suave, Sunsilk, Vaseline, Degree.

L’Oreeal, brands include L’Oreeal Paris, Lancome, Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, Kiehl’s, Essie, Garnier, Maybelline-New York, Vichy, La Roche-Posay, The Body Shop, Redken.

Additional Comments

Some people are saying S.1014 will have no impact on cottage industries that make natural soap. The main reasons stated are that soap is not regulated by the FDA and that small producers are excluded. Others say FDA regulation is good when it comes to anything but the smallest businesses. Lets address those from last to first. Disclaimer: These are my opinions. There are lots of links on this page for you to investigate further and reach out to others in the natural soap and cosmetic community.

Can FDA Be Trusted?
Are there harmful ingredients in commercial cosmetics? According to the bill’s sponsors, yes. But the idea that government will make things right with more regulations is a pipe dream. For one thing, FDA gets funding from big businesses it regulates, and they can afford to ignore the rules while the little guy is a vulnerable target. Watch this documentary called “War on Health – the FDA’s Cult of Tyranny (2hrs) for some revealing conflicts of interest.

Does S.1014  Impact Your Small Business?
The proposed amendment says any facility that grosses more than $100K a year has to register, but only those making more than $500k have to pay a fee. While $100k exempts some producers, $100k gross is not unusual for a family business run from home. If half is the pretax net spread among three or more people, they are barely making a livable wage. Even if your natural products business doesn’t make that much now, you might be wanting to build your business. And, if you want to get together with a few other soap makers, in a guild, for example, and share production or storage space, the $100k applies to the facility overall, not the individual businesses, the way I read it.

Online Sales?
The bill says websites of ALL personal care products sold online must include information that is on the label. Does it really mean ALL, or just those who sell more than $100k?

*”As more consumers choose to shop online, it is of growing importance that they have access to the same product information they would see in a store. This bill requires all personal care products sold online to include information that is on the label. Consumers will be able to see all ingredients listed, along with any product warnings and other important information on use.”

What Exactly is Soap?
It depends on what you mean by soap. FDA has a very narrow definition of soap. If you make small amounts of soap from animal fat, vegetable, or mineral oil and lye, and nothing else,  things may be okay. But when you get into FDAs finer definitions of soap versus cosmetics, you may want to consult a legal expert.

In FDAs view, the line between soap, cosmetics, or drugs can be easily misconstrued. Cosmetics may really be drugs in FDAs thinking, and soaps may be cosmetics. It depends on several factors: the ingredients, the purpose of the product as stated either on the label or during marketing, and consumers’ perceptions and expectations. As a producer, your life can drastically change on a turn of phrase.

According to, the agency considers a product soap if it consists primarily of alkali salts of fatty acids and is intended only for cleansing. However, if there is an intention to make the user more attractive by imparting fragrance, acting as a deodorant, or moisturizing the skin, for example, it becomes a cosmetic and is regulated as such, even though it may legally be labeled soap. FDA says hardly anybody makes plain old fashioned soap anymore.

Cosmetics are “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body…for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance” [FD&C Act, sec. 201(i)]. Any body care product that is not soap in the strict sense of the word, is regulated as a cosmetic or drug. Natural products made by home based producers may include: moisturizers, balms, salves, shampoos, deodorants, and massage oils. FDA classified them as either cosmetics or drugs, depending on the intent behind them. For example, if you bottle a natural oil and add a scent for massage oil, it’s a cosmetic if you intended to lubricate the skin and emit a pleasant odor. The moment a claim is made that it helps relieve soreness, it becomes a drug and different regulations kick in. That video linked above addresses the issue further.

But It’s Organic!
When it comes to safety, FDA does not distinguish between ingredients like methelyne glycol or propyl paraben and those that are natural and/or organic:

“An ingredient’s source does not determine its safety. For example, many plants, whether or not they are organically grown, contain substances that may be toxic or allergenic…Under the FD&C Act, all cosmetic products and ingredients are subject to the same safety requirement…”

The trend is to assume a thing isn’t affecting you because you are not seeing a direct threat to  your own life, so no worries. Even if you make “soap” by FDA standards, not “cosmetic” soap or other body care products, this law can impact you if you buy healthy body care products from other small producers.


 Sen. Feinstein’s introductory remarks S. 1014 [Congressional Record Volume 161, Number 57 (Monday, April 20, 2015)] [Senate] [Pages S2274-S2275] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

Soap photo courtesy of Sozo Artisan Soaps

Thanks to everybody else who offered soap pics. They are buried in the avalanche of comments and emails at the moment. If you’d like me to include an image if I do a follow up, please re-msg.


127 comments on “Lawmakers want FDA to crack down on soap makers

  1. Julie
    January 2, 2016

    Well… this is not cool! The idea this will not cost the taxpayers is bull.

  2. Ocelot
    January 1, 2016

    Dianne Feinstein and Susan Collins, Senators for Sale.
    We will propose and support any legislation that you are willing to pay for. Just like the rest of our colleagues.
    We don’t give a sh!t about the government spending $1,000,000 a minute; the bigger problem is that we need to line our pockets. This also gives a benign ‘carrier’ bill for our colleagues to attach riders that would not pass on their own to.
    We couldn’t care less about the people of the US.

  3. skart87
    January 1, 2016

    I have quite a lot of friends that make their living off of selling homemade products like that…My skin is super sensitive and it’s really hard for me to buy a bar soap w/o going bankrupt…I’ve noticed that a lot of people who make the homemade soaps/shampoos/etc started making them for that same reason and they make stuff that is gentler, cheaper and better than any of the brand name stuff I ever bough…
    I’m not sure whether I want to cry or yell ):

  4. Brenda S Brown
    December 30, 2015

    It is not about Cosmetic’s or Soaps it is about are you taking away from big Business like J &J and makers of soaps and shampoos and lotions. They are paying off FDA so nobody can lower there profits any more! Big business is afraid of Ma and PA business!

  5. Terry Henderson
    December 30, 2015

    Screw the FDA on this. There are more harmful ingredients in store bought soaps that in anything a home soap maker would ever do. Fix the industry before you piss on America self reliance! Revolution against this corruption! The companies that support it are the one poisoning us!!! Damn you assholes!

  6. Gary Christopher
    December 30, 2015

    I don’t need or want the government to protect me from myself.Senator F-stein can go to hell…

  7. Gavirio Vicuta
    December 29, 2015

    Yet another example of American statism and the need to reduce governmental interventionism…

    • empty pockets
      December 30, 2015

      Succinctly and accurately stated. Nanny-staters just can’t keep from meddling where they have no constitutional business, always growing, feeding the parasite of government as they go.

  8. Pingback: U.S. Lawmakers Cracking Down On Home-Based Soap Makers – NaturePonics, LLC.

  9. Pingback: U.S. Lawmakers Cracking Down On Home-Based Soap Makers | Workout at Home

  10. Joeseph Uzzer
    December 29, 2015

    We _all_ know that it’s not about “safety” or even money, it’s about control. Feinstein and the other leftists will not be satisfied until they are the lords of the kingdom and we-the-people (remember us, the ones who booted King George off the continent?) are only their uncomplaining serfs who know and have known no other life but servitude to our betters.

  11. Terry Tess
    December 28, 2015

    Scott, point taken, perhaps this is why so many Americans now are battling Cancer, due to the crap that is in food. But the real issue is the fact I make soap with a friend and although we do not sell I would NEVER return to any of the companies that are on the list above, my skin has never been better and WE do not test on animals, most if not all of these companies do and really, how many times do you have to put lye into an animals eyes to
    know it is harmful???

    • Abe
      December 30, 2015

      This may be of interest to you. Pretty much everything from Health and Beauty products, foods, and drugs are full of toxic chemicals. If you want to know what your eating or using, one must grow or make it themselves.
      Full Report: GE Crops, Glyphosate, and the Deterioration of Health in the US

      Click to access JOS_Volume-9_Number-2_Nov_2014-Swanson-et-al.pdf

  12. Pingback: Lawmakers Want FDA To Crack Down On Soap Makers | MassCentralMedia

  13. K Peterson
    September 25, 2015

    We need a petition and letter to this bought out politician. She’s obviously got her pockets lined with these companies. Anyone who know’s about a link, please let us know. I love that we have the “Dark Act” prohibiting consumers from knowing about GMO ingredients (now banned in MANY countries) and they are concerned about us? Lame. Get this lady out of office now!

    • Thelma Pulis Carolan
      December 30, 2015

      So far everyone of the department store soaps are filled with chemicals not needed on the human body. Be careful with Feinstein. She’s the one that stated “if everyone turns in their guns, then criminals will turn theirs in too” She seriously needs a shrink and a retirement, But then she’s a democrat too. so she’ll be out of a job next year!!YEAH!!!!!!!

  14. K Peterson
    September 25, 2015

    Ok does someone have a letter to Diane Feinstein or a petition to get people up in arms about this?? I am beyond ticked off. This wonderful Dark Act would prohibit consumers knowing about GMO ingredients and they are worried about US??

    • ceresmary206
      December 29, 2015

      K Peterson, cannot agree MORE. if congress CARED one bit, we would have no MONSANTO sleeping with the FDA, et al. AND GMOs DO matter. They aren’t worried about US, they are worried about big business not getting enough. BS.

      • simpleunhookedliving
        December 29, 2015

        Everyone should have the right to buy soap from their local natural soap maker, who should be able to have their business grow without onerous regulations, imo. This proposed legislation has not made it out of the original committee, as of today. The bill included a section on reduced animal testing. With all the extra testing required by this bill, what do you think will be used for testing? If you google cosmetics and fetal tissue, you will get a good idea.

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  16. nickofthyme
    June 12, 2015

    Reblogged this on NickofThyme and commented:
    Interesting article

  17. Shaman Sister SinDelle
    June 4, 2015

    Reblogged this on Modern Pioneer Magazine.

  18. jonahtk
    June 4, 2015

    Reblogged this on Jonah "TK" Photography and commented:
    Dont stop till they come knocking

  19. Tom Mallon
    June 2, 2015

    I’m so sick of this paid-for-by legislation. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just compete and make natural products? Like mom-n-pop companies are serious threats to these mega-corps.

  20. Storm
    May 22, 2015

    Wow. Sounds like corporate capitalists are feeling threatened by cooperatives and the self-employed, hence, the phoney ‘concerns’.

    It’s so obvious,the blind could see it.

  21. simpleunhookedliving
    May 16, 2015

    If you are making products that will require testing under the law, or you just want the information fyi, I just found this FDA registered lab called Analytical Laboratories linked from I don’t know if that means they are a good company, so buyer beware. But the fact that they are on could be a good sign.

    • Andy Daniels
      December 29, 2015

      If only the photo was copyrighted, only the photo should have been removed. The first step a copyright owner does is a “cease and desist” to stop you from using it. You change the picture and that’s it. They have no other rights – at all. They may be able to change you financially but that is not going to be easy. Go with your original article! They have nothing over you.

      • simpleunhookedliving
        December 29, 2015

        I explained my reasoning when somebody said essentially the same thing in an earlier post.

  22. patriotcyberlich
    May 13, 2015

    Reblogged this on patriotcyberlich's Blog.

  23. Kathy Shelton
    May 11, 2015

    I have pictures of soaps and lotions I make, if you still need a picture for the post you created about proposed legislation.

    • simpleunhookedliving
      May 12, 2015

      Thank you Kathy. I really appreciate the offer. I will keep that in mine in case I do a follow up article.

  24. Pingback: Senate Plays Dirty Against Artisan Soap Makers | Food Renegade

  25. Deadly Clear
    May 8, 2015

    If the Senator is so concerned with the content of soap and skin products why doesn’t she start with Pampers and other disposable diapers. I’ll bet disposable diapers aren’t even on the list.

    • LeAnn Addleman
      May 8, 2015

      As all of my children and grandchildren are beyond the diaper years, this is something I never thought of. When my older children were babies, I used cloth diapers. Much safer and cheaper. This doesn’t surprise me at all. It’s called soft-kill and they’re doing it to all of us.

  26. Frankie
    May 7, 2015


    Angela Desch (a shareholder with the law firm Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard, represents local, national, and international companies, including manufacturers and distributors of natural and organic products, in broad-based commercial, products liability and class action litigation.)

    writes at the end of her article “Personal Care Products Safety Act” S. 1014: Proposed Legislation that will Have a Huge Impact on the Cosmetics Industry if Enacted”…

    “Although the bill provides for an exemption from facility registration for “small businesses,” other aspects of the bill are enforceable against “small businesses” — though at different time frames and in some instances to a lesser extent.”

    To read the complete article visit

  27. Mike
    May 1, 2015

    Capitalism has never, nor has it ever been for the lone entrepreneur. It was designed by the very richest corporations of the world and in it’s purest form it despises the little man and crushes any chance at prosperity for him. It’s one of the worst economies ever put into use and it always will remain an oppressive system that bleeds the working class into oblivion.

    • Gavirio Vicuta
      December 29, 2015


    • Bob
      December 31, 2015

      You truly have have no idea what you are talking about.

  28. Andrea
    May 1, 2015

    Let people who have the consciousness & know-how make soap that is healthy & chemical-free……FDA go and monitor some real danger to our society’s well-being!!!!

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  30. Ricky
    May 1, 2015

    The bill contains several exemptions for small businesses – which is typical of bills like this, which is why I went and checked. See for yourself:

    I don’t know if these exemptions are adequate–I don’t know enough about the small soap makers to say–but the point is that Fienstein clearly intended to exempt them and not burden small soap makers.

    This is so typical. Someone hears about a proposed law. They don’t bother to check the details, or they read them but don’t understand them. They freak out about it and post something on the Internet. Other people read it and freak out and don’t bother to check either. Happens all the time.

    You have to check, people. Don’t believe everything you read. People write about things without fully understanding them, or to fit the story into their agenda, or by just repeating what others have written. It’s not always the full story.

    • tom Kuettnre
      May 14, 2015

      Ricky $100,000 in retail soap sales can easily only equate to a $5,000 – $10,000 net profit do you think your family could live on that? and as often happens laws are introduced with exemptions for small business then a few years down the line they are lowered or removed.
      the testing this bill requires could easily cost $20,000-$30,000 PER PRODUCT
      we make 11 different soaps and use all natural ingredients …they could require each and every ingredient in each soap to be tested at hundreds to thousands of $$ per ingredient!!
      For a company that makes in the hundreds of millions of $$$ a year this is not an issue …this bill in fact like MANY laws would only serve to stifle competition and stop the small companies from competing in a field that is already slanted against them!

  31. Joe Kelsall
    May 1, 2015

    To be frank, the best soap in the world is produced in the old fashioned way in Nablus, Palestine.
    This attempt to nobble small natural soap makers is to prevent the trend becoming popular; which it is.

    Nablus Soap by Saffron & Rose

    Exclusively produced only in city of Nablus, Palestine. Made of 100% all natural botanical ingredients, contain 80% organic virgin olive oil and 20% of lavender best for skin.

    Lavender is widely known for its antiseptic properties that assists in treating acne, balances oil production and prevents scarring. It contains linalol that helps in healing burns, wounds and sores. When used for hair treatment, it helps in treating dandruff that leaves healthy scalp and hair.

    • simpleunhookedliving
      May 1, 2015

      It sounds wonderful.

    • Gail Partsch
      May 1, 2015

      Wow where do you get it?

  32. microformulation
    May 1, 2015

    I think everyone is getting upset for nothing by misinterpreting the proposed law, including some of the blogs which are being cited. I have sat in on several meetings with Regulatory people in the Commercial Cosmetic Market and it is a good bill.
    Firstly I think there is one huge glaring fact that everyone is missing/ In the header of the Bill, it states “To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to
    ensure the safety of cosmetics.” Anyone who knows about the above law (lets call it the “Cosmetic Act” for brevity) will recall that true soaps are NOT covered under this act and would not be affected by this bill. PLAIN AND SIMPLE.
    Secondly many are stating “they will strip away the exemptions.” This is not looking to be the case. In fact, the current debate may likely RAISE the exempted income from $100,000 to a higher number. This is because the US Small Business Association allows a much higher income level under their definition of what a Small Business is. The FDA wants the exemption since they do not have the manpower to enforce a bill to smaller operations.
    Now, look at what the Bill mandates. For years the FDA has had a Voluntary Cosmetic Registration program. It was a useless program as few choose to participate. Now it will be an effective program.
    It mandates that within 3 years of passing that the Cosmetic Industry provide viable alternatives to Animal testing! Who is against that?
    Lastly, all this Bill does is codify the policies that were optional and makes them mandatory. These policies are central to a cGMP Program and ensure consistent safe product from Commercial manufacturers. ARE THEY SWEEPING REVOLUTIONARY MEASURES? NO!!! You alkready have to follow all the policies in the Bill if you want to get the Cosmetic ISO Certification if you want to produce “Natural” Cosmetics under the NSF standard.
    Calm down. I am sure that Marie Gale will probably be blogging calmly on this bill in the coming weeks. I am a Professional Formulator in the Cosmetic Industry. I have been attending meetings on this bill for awhile now and it is supported by the Industry. It affects nobody in this forum. Don’t see it as a danger but rather as the Government forcing dangerous LARGER manufacturers to play by the rules. I audit Manufacturing plants for my clients periodically. Believe me, there are manufacturers who MUST be forced to do the right thing.

    • simpleunhookedliving
      May 1, 2015

      Thanks for your insider insights, Mark. I hope you’re right and that all is good and benign. But can you explain why the big companies who are supposedly on board with the bill, as listed by Feinstein, are playing this game of needing a law to make them stop using ingredients that are potentially harmful (according to the Senator)? The general sentiment I am seeing as that people who are trying to survive the best they can, are tired of these games. They are tired of encroaching tyranny on all fronts, and being sabotaged by government and their big business cronies at every turn. It happens over and over. What I have seen in my long years is laws that ostensibly protect people unfortunately end up targeting the little guy while the big corporate culprits — with their batteries of high priced attorneys — carry on business as usual. Corporations, as you may have noticed, take the long view of 20, 30, 50 years down the line, while most of us are just trying to survive day to day. People don’t need to be calm. We need to increase our hyper vigilance on all fronts because our liberties are being assaulted on all sides. The society is already calmed and dumbed down more than enough. If more people had been paying attention 20 years ago (like they are starting to be now), when the EPA started its anti-wood stove campaign, for example — they might have nipped it in the bud. Now it’s out of control and poor rural people trying to keep warm are criminals. If they had been vigilant 50 years ago when a small minority of parents were rejecting vaccines, we might not now be facing state enforced vaccination. You may be right about this one, but frankly, the little people are tired of being screwed.

      • microformulation
        May 1, 2015

        It is not directed at the smaller manufacturers. Don’t be fearful. Wait to see. As an insider I am sad to say that much like other proposed amendments to this bill will never get voted on. That was the case with previous bills.
        The ingredient review by the FDA was actually supported by the Industry. It is to mandate good scientific testing of products. It is meant to offset any unqualified bashing of ingredients without good science behind it. Again not a bad idea.
        Per my notes from a meeting on this act, SOAPS ARE EXEMPT.
        No offense but read the bill and you can see it is actually forcing compliance to modern standards to the Commercial manufacturers. It is not directed against small businesses. The SBA has been quite vocal in ensuring that!
        The big companies are onboard either from a genuine desire to follow procedures or a desire to prevent abuses of the same rules they have had to follow for cetification.They are already forced to do so by their accounts as well as to obtain ISO certification.
        It is not the big companies you have to fear. It is the smaller contract manufacturers who follow no cGMP protocols. I have seen some huge abuses. I once walked into a Sunless Tanning manufacturer and the workers were mixing solutions out on the loading dock with drill mixers while having a smoke break. Their reasoning was that it was too hot inside. I asked to see their cGMP program. I was met with blank stares. THIS IS WHO NEEDS TO FEAR THE BILL NOT PEOPLE IN THIS FORUM.
        Ironically the bill addresses issues that we have railed against for years. Animal Testing. Toxicology studies of Cosmetic materials. Good record keeping.
        The best soapmakers I have met are very technically skilled and demand that things be done right. This bill enforces proper procedures in the Cosmetic Market, not soap making! It is not covered under the Cosmetic Act. Soapmaking 101!
        I have been in the commercial Cosmetic business for many years. This is a good bill and it is not targeted at any of you!

      • microformulation
        May 1, 2015

        I can’t really speak on a wood stove burn or any anti-big government feelings as that is not my specialty. I can simply comment on the provisions of the law and it’s effects on the Cosmetic Industry as a whole.

      • Jessica Orsini
        May 1, 2015

        As luck would have it, I can chime in on the “what are the big companies supporting this?” question. In a world: China. The cosmetics being exported by China at an ever-increasing rate are often adulterated/contaminated with dangerous chemicals and/or carcinogenic substances. But slamming the door on China in an open fashion creates an international incident that pretty much everyone wants to avoid. So this provides a backdoor method of doing so: regulate *all* commercial-level cosmetics… and then, when the Chinese products fail the testing, turn them back. It’s a matter of consumer safety.

      • nickofthyme
        June 12, 2015

        Well said!!!!

    • “Let’s pass the bill to see what is in it”. This is pure fascism. These laws increase the gap between the rich and poor. A company that sells $100,000 in product is probably netting less than $20,000. How many people work for a company the grosses $100,000 in a year (2 or 3)? Big companies don’t want these small companies competing against them. That is the purpose of this law, and it is increasingly the purpose of the government. Rather than forcing these small companies out of business with tons or paperwork, why not simply sample the product now and then? It is thousands of times cheaper and more effective. No law is needed, and it is something that the government already does.

  33. Carla King-Hass
    May 1, 2015

    “”Feinstein does not propose to ban these dangerous ingredients from soaps and cosmetics, just regulate them with tests and warning labels, FEES,
    She thinks some of these products, though harmful to health, MAGICALLY BECOME SAFE, when used by ‘professionals in a salon or spa setting””.

    Um.. yeah… but it’s ok to make products with unpronounceable ingredients, versus down to earth basics that made us all healthier people 100yrs ago, than we are today with all the chemicals used. they do not HAVE to test on animals if they made it all the old ways

    Hmm FEES.. This word says it ALL, so it’s not surprising that the 6 top companies in this country, support this bill, after all if we are not making our own then we’re buying theirs.

  34. Marissa Carroll
    May 1, 2015

    Can they not work on something IMPORTANT? I’m going to have to quit posting about politics. I get too wound up.

  35. Becky
    May 1, 2015

    This law will either force us out of business or cause us to not report cash income in an attempt to stay under the 100k gross sales rule (which will exempt very small businesses).

    I don’t want to do that. I am proud to report the income we make from our small business. I feel that it is good for our small town. We do not use any of the at risk products they have spoke of, yet we would be required to pay the same fees and submit recipes as if we did. We certainly do not have the shear man power it would take to comply. OUT OF BUSINESS

  36. Dawn Robnett
    May 1, 2015

    Just another revenue grab by the Feds and big business. I think big biz is seeing a little dent in their sales because of the cottage industry. Hence the “not listening.”

  37. CrystalB
    May 1, 2015

    I broke out using commercialized soaps I now have rosacea partially due to that reason…I learnt that chamomile is a great redness reducer. so I got to thinking I Know of a friend who makes hand made soaps! . I ordered 2 bars and its been so wonderful I will not use comercialized soaps again. I’m sorry but I wont! and I use chamomile hand made soaps now.. its been a life saver! if I use certain products I dont step outside. i support home based soap makers! I think its only fair if there is some sort of half and half not just one sided person on this deal!

  38. hyperoptic
    May 1, 2015

    Ehh simple economics at play here. It seems that those companies backing the bill through their lobbyists see an opportunity to reduce or even eliminate some competition by raising costs. It’s bills like these that are gradually suffocating the U.S. economy. The health industry is plagued by them and people wonder why costs keep going up. I hope this doesn’t pass.

  39. rod feller
    May 1, 2015

    I am allergic to commercial soaps and only use handmade old fashioned soaps. I think ‘we the people’ should force legislation to ban lobbying by personal contact. Make the lobbyist publish their request publicly so we can have our voice back to regulate legislation as ‘we the people’ are supposed to do.

    • Amen
      May 1, 2015

      That is a great idea. We should start petitioning on this

  40. Biz
    May 1, 2015

    How ’bout lawmakers getting the FDA to crack down on vaccine makers…

  41. lee Baldwin
    May 1, 2015

    there is no text available for SB1014, so how do you know this is going to be an issue to small producers? the bill was introduced & sent to committee… but there is no text yet. no content.

    • simpleunhookedliving
      May 1, 2015

      Please contact the Handmade Soap Alliance, who has been meeting with Feinstein’s soap group and is tracking the issue. Thank you.

  42. blakely diller
    May 1, 2015

    I’ve tried to start a petition on but have not been successful , perhaps someone else would have better results OR on Credo

  43. Jessica Orsini
    April 30, 2015

    This is not aimed at home-made soap makers. Specifically exempted: “‘‘(G) domestic manufacturers with less 5 than $100,000 in gross annual sales of cosmetic 6 products….” Rather, The target of this bill is the absolutely shitty stuff getting shipped over here from SE Asia with dangerous ingredients in the mix.

    • simpleunhookedliving
      May 1, 2015

      Please refer to Their thinking, as I understand it, is that bills going through committee can have exemptions struck out, and to stop the big players from getting a foothold with FDA regulations that include soaps made with natural materials.

    • tiredofthelies
      May 16, 2015

      You’re kidding, right? Haven’t you seen the number of animals that have died due to Chinese treats, or the number of products that have passed our “inspection” only to end up poisoning or killing our infants, children and adults? Do you really think these regulations will result in safer products being imported? You really need to pull your head out of the sand and start reading, and various other sites regarding the shifty stuff that IS regulated and still manages to get through the cracks.

      Think hard before you ingest your next meal containing any processed chicken and thank our wonderful regulations for that mess 🙂

  44. Pingback: Lawmakers want FDA to crack down on soap makers - Progressive Radio Network

  45. Stephanie Bentley
    April 30, 2015

    I want soaps, cosmetics, detergents and other natural products to be able to made at home a sold through small business. Do not shut them down because of big business lobbyists.

  46. Janet Pole
    April 30, 2015

    This is completely (well in non-PC terms) RETARDED.
    The govt. is killing jobs yet people who want to make a living on their own (and perhaps stay off social assistance?) are being penalized.

  47. bilfus01
    April 30, 2015

    I am a huge supporter of artisnal and small business soap making. I have both friends and family who depend on the revenue their skills and superior products bring in. However, I can’t help but think that this post is a bit overblown. Has the author read the text of the bill? I have, and it appear that the *proposed* bill would not effect any small soap maker I know.

    Here are the particulars:

    There is a blanket exemption from being considered a “facility” under the proposed law for: ‘‘domestic manufacturers with less than $100,000 in gross annual sales of cosmetic products;” (§601-G)

    So if you are not grossing over $100,000 in sales, it appears like it doesn’t affect you at all. If you are grossing over $100,000 but less than $500,000 you have to register, but you don’t pay user fees. User fees of $250 apply for sales of at least $500,000 to $2,500,000 and go up from there. ‘‘TIER VII-B.—For a registrant that has gross annual sales of at least $500,000 per annum but less than $2,500,000 in 2015, $250.” (§774L-(c)(3)(xiv))

    Respectfully, my question is, if your gross sales are over $500,000 but under $2,500,000 is a $250 user fee really “yet another assault?” Reading the all of the commentary so far about this proposed bill, I was really expecting some draconian, ham-handed, legislation, but instead upon reading the actual bill, the vast majority of it seems not only reasonable, but prudent. Has anyone else actually read the bill? Who really thinks that reasonable safety standard for body care products is an assault? Furthermore, who would consider someone grossing over $500,000 per year a “kitchen table” operation?

    • bilfus01
      April 30, 2015
    • simpleunhookedliving
      May 1, 2015

      I appreciate your breakdown of financial exemptions in the proposed bill. Regarding the question of whether gross revenue of $100k eliminates home-based body care producers: It may or may not. Not being a soap maker, I don’t know what percentage of their business reflects operating costs and other expenses. Let’s say 50% is profit. I don’t think it’s unreasonable that a home based businesses will net $50k/year, especially if two or more family members are involved in the operation. I have a one-person business that doesn’t gross anything near that, however, most of my clients, which are mom and pop operations of varying kinds, gross more than $100k/yr.

      RE: Exemption for ‘‘domestic manufacturers with less than $100,000 in gross annual sales of cosmetic products;” As noted in my reply above, “Please refer to Their thinking, as I understand it, is that bills going through committee can have exemptions struck out, and to stop the big players from getting a foothold with FDA regulations that include soaps made with natural materials.”

      • microformulation
        May 1, 2015

        The exemptions are not being struck out. In fact the last I heard through channels is that the lower threshold since the SBA allows a higher income under their definition of a “Small Business.” The real danger is that it never makes it to the floor for a vote. I have to side 100% with bilfus01 on this one.

    • microformulation
      May 1, 2015

      Great points. Glad to see someone else preach some sense here.

  48. Pingback: All around the mulberry bush … | Questions and Observations

  49. microformulation
    April 30, 2015

    The author fails to mention that you would be exempt from the proposed legislation if you sell less than $100,000 USD per year in sales. If you are selling more than $100,000 a year you should be at a level where you need to be hel accountable. Keep in mind that it is really targeted at LARGER manufacturers and it simply codifies what most responsible manufacturers have been doing voluntarilly for years. It will force the bad apples to comply or get out of the Industry.

    Under the exempted manufacturers (Item 3, subtopic G) it lists “domestic manufacturers with less than $100,000 in gross annual sales of cosmetic products;

    • simpleunhookedliving
      May 1, 2015

      I appreciate your breakdown of financial exemptions in the proposed bill. Regarding the question of whether gross revenue of $100k eliminates home-based body care producers: It may or may not. Not being a soap maker, I don’t know what percentage of their business reflects operating costs and other expenses. Let’s say 50% is profit. I don’t think it’s unreasonable that a home based businesses will net $50k/year, especially if two or more family members are involved in the operation. I have a one-person business that doesn’t gross anything near that, however, most of my clients, which are mom and pop operations of varying kinds, gross more than $100k/yr.

      RE: Exemption for ‘‘domestic manufacturers with less than $100,000 in gross annual sales of cosmetic products;” As noted in my reply above, “Please refer to Their thinking, as I understand it, is that bills going through committee can have exemptions struck out, and to stop the big players from getting a foothold with FDA regulations that include soaps made with natural materials.”

  50. Robin
    April 30, 2015

    I’ll make sure I never buy another product from one of these companies again, and trust me, the word will be spread. If people want to stop this, the best way is to absolutely stop buying from the companies supporting this fiasco.

  51. Maggie Sullivan
    April 30, 2015

    I am a small cottage industry soap maker in Australia. There are only a few ingredients in Cold Processed Soap. The recipe has not changed since it was discovered. Oil, Water, and a caustic, or lye as its known. I cannot buy the caustic at the store, I have to get it from a cosmetic grade ingredient supplier. It is that simple. All the other things, colours and scents are also bought from cosmetic grade suppliers. And I mostly do not use those scents or colours. But natural (again) cosmetic grade clays. Sen. Feinstein I think you must be coming up for re election. You Ms Feinstein have lost touch. When you finally force everyone who is trying to make a small living out of business. Where are those folks going to make money to live? Cause the last time I looked I didn’t qualify for any help from the State or Government cause I didn’t have ten kids by different fathers I had not married..( but I digress). I don’t use the products as a rule for myself. If the cosmetic industry had to make its coin from my makeup and lotion use they would have gone out of business years ago. But you can be darn sure I will NOT be giving any of my hard earned money to them in the future.

  52. Daniel Moore
    April 30, 2015

    I’ve made coco-castile soap a number of times. It was the best soap I’ve ever used. Even worked well on our hair. There are a number of fairly natural soaps available, often at discount stores. As a Californian, I find Senators “FeinBoxer” useless at best. If we rendered them . . .

  53. Lisa Collins
    April 30, 2015

    These additives have already been tested, used and added to the beauty industry for years. Home based products are popular because they don’t use crap chemicals, but natural ingredients like oatmeal, mineral oil, sugar, etc. This is all about keeping women and their fantastic products OUT of the market and out of sharing the profits that the beauty industry reaps. Shame on you too women in Congress. Get PAC money from male-oriented sponsors.

  54. mesmer7
    April 30, 2015

    Remove the damn fragrance chemicals!!

  55. Angene fisher
    April 30, 2015

    Ive been using nothing but home made sosp foraube dry skin no side remind be of 2 ladies with nothing better to do but cause trouble…

  56. Pingback: LAF/Beautiful Womanhood » We Need to Wash Our Hands of Feminist Fascism

  57. Laura Tungate
    April 30, 2015

    I am a soap maker. My labels include all of my ingrediants…and guess what even my 3 year old can not only pronounce them he knows what they are….Hey big SOAP COMPANIES—can yours do that?—didnt think so…. Politicians need to enforce the full discolure across the board. If people really knew what was in the detergent you buy from the store to wash your kids in they would completely stop buying it….that is what this is all about, MONEY!!

  58. Sue
    April 30, 2015

    Read the actual bill. If you have less than half a million dollars in annual sales, there is NO fee. And since when does reviewing chemicals mean they are banning their use? If propyl paraben is safe, there is no problem with it – they will review it, confirm it is fine and everyone continues on their merry way. How is it bad to require companies to list ingredients or require companies to report to the FDA if their product causes consumers to break out in rashes and hives? That’s part of this bill, too. Read the actual bill.

  59. brendanolen
    April 30, 2015

    Reblogged this on My Sustainable Home.

  60. Thom Foote
    April 30, 2015

    Screw the FDA! If you make soap only for your family or give it to friends then you have nothing to worry about! They are not going to come into your house and seize your homemade soap! I think it is 3rd Amendment to the Constitution that gives us the right to bar soap. IMHO this is sensationalist crap!

  61. kristisprinkle
    April 30, 2015

    This is sort of like the distilled water companies (Nestle’s for example) telling us we can no longer drink the water out of the faucet because it’s bad for us. Uh huh.

  62. kristisprinkle
    April 30, 2015

    What idiots. I am making my own stuff BECAUSE the commercial stuff is bad for my skin. So we are going to be regulated in such a way as to destroy our health? Lovely. Definitely defined by lobbied government types with big pockets filled with dirty money.

  63. Steve
    April 30, 2015

    How about reading the bill?

    It specifically excludes companies making less than $100k per year, so most people making soap in their homes are fine.

  64. Annie
    April 30, 2015

    is there anywhere I can see the proposed bill and the fees and requirements? I would like to read and not just people posting their thoughts on it.

  65. Carmen Kelp
    April 30, 2015

    Cottage industries that don’t use these harsh chemicals in their products should be exempt from this legislation. It makes no sense to say they have to report batch information, and pay user fees and subject to inspections when the ingredients are common kitchen items such sugar, oil, butter. None of the harmful chemicals that they mention are used in the creation of the soaps, scrub and body butters that these home based business make so why make them subject to FDA scrutiny. Why not simply ban those ingredients?

  66. thescientista4
    April 30, 2015

    Reblogged this on thescientista4 and commented:

  67. Abe
    April 30, 2015

    When Congress worries about keeping us safe always scares me. It’s more about keeping the heavy hitters safe, and by the list, it seems to have the heaviest. They’re already keeping us safe by drinking fluoride, spraying what ever in our skies, and is there any real food in our food supply? Now they want to push the MMR vaccine on us, the one that has been a fraud from the FDA since 2004.
    It’s not about safety when they treat us like chattle. Total and absolute control of our lives is what they want.

  68. Thorne
    April 30, 2015

    yes, require accurate labels. But unless the ingredients require expensive equipment or is not more than c. 3 steps from harvested… all the extra paperwork is unnecessary. The ‘cottage’ industries honestly can’t afford to make things with all the stuff that needs regulation, so would never come under that review. But by all means, require them to label (I got certain allergies)

  69. Charles Knutson
    April 30, 2015

    Here’s the text of The Personal Care Products Safety Act. There’s an exemption on page 4 for “domestic manufacturers with less than $100,000 in gross annual sales” so it will not effect “kitchen table” operations.

  70. Lesley Mansfield
    April 30, 2015

    Isn’t it about sharing in this world and to use the best non-chemicals as much as possible. There’s enough in this worlds to share and people will buy what is suitable for them. It’s another way to creating fear in this world. The mainstream companies are just greedy and its another way of keeping Senator Feinstein in her job.

  71. simpleunhookedliving
    April 30, 2015

    Thanks everybody for your comments. I apologize for not getting them loaded and shared sooner. Also, I noticed the article seemed to have lost its paragraph formatting, so I appreciate your patience in reading it anyway. I think the formatting is fixed now.

  72. quercuscommunity
    April 30, 2015

    Always more time to spend on labels and lists. I make jams and chutneys in UK. It’s OK at the moment but the admin part is definitely taking the fun out of it.

    • simpleunhookedliving
      April 30, 2015

      Are small time operators required to follow specific regulations there in the UK?

      • quercuscommunity
        April 30, 2015

        We make more than hobbyists/vilage fetes and less than professionals so we have to be careful about what we make or the requirements can be out of proportion.

        They do try to make it easier with relaxed rules for schools and village events but we sell in tha farm cafe, every Satirday for instance, which means we are viewed as professionals.

  73. Pingback: Lawmakers want FDA to crack down on soap makers | Winding River Herbals

  74. Pingback: FDA to Crack Down on Home-based Soap Makers | Health Exchange

  75. Foundations of Sapphires
    April 30, 2015

    Those companies are just selfish and don’t want to lose thr profit to the small business owners who can’t afford all the paperwork they can afford. Estee Launder, I am ashamed, you yourself started in the kitchen making beauty products in your home. I will jot be supporting these brands in the future.

    • laurie
      April 30, 2015

      100% True. These lawmaker are in the pockets of these companies – lobbying should be illegal!

  76. Pingback: FDA to Crack Down on Home-based Soap Makers | Living For Longer

  77. nenamatahari
    April 29, 2015

    It sounds like lobbyists for those companies are the cause of this bill.

    • nickofthyme
      May 1, 2015

      Good point. I would be interested in exactly how many donations from these companies made it into Feinstein’s campaigns.

  78. judy
    April 28, 2015

    How about we all stop using these companies products ♡

    • simpleunhookedliving
      April 30, 2015

      That sounds like a good idea, Judy. I like the approach of voting with our dollars, as that’s the one thing the powers that be seem to pay attention to.

    • Carmen Kelp
      April 30, 2015

      Already have : )

    • LeAnn Addleman
      April 30, 2015

      I have already stopped using most of the products that come from these companies. We need more awareness. Spread the word so many more people will know what’s being done to them through the products they use on their body.

  79. supportusabantsa
    April 28, 2015

    Reblogged this on Patriot News II.

  80. Angie Davidson
    April 28, 2015

    It doesn’t surprise me that the Queen of Regulation (Feinstein) is behind this. Part of the issue with her proposal is that the ingredients that she cites as harmful are generally used in melt and pour soap bases, but not in traditional, handmade soap.

    The FDA does not regulate soap; that would be the CSC; and there is no regulation for the word “natural” on ANY product…organics need to meet certain standards, but natural can be used on anything (which is a way for companies to get you to think you’re eating or using something good for you that actually contains GMOs as well as hydrolized ingredients, as well as certain amounts of trans fats.)

    Feinstein needs to shut her trap and focus on proposing and voting as to what her constituents want, rather than gun grabbing and calling for unconstitutional laws and regulations.

    • nickofthyme
      May 1, 2015

      Exactly! Well said!

    • Dawn Robnett
      May 1, 2015

      Amen to that!

    • chjajesa
      May 1, 2015

      Exactly! Thank you for an excellent post!

    • WellDuh
      December 29, 2015

      Perfect example of lobbyists getting what they want.. she was backed by these companies and now it’s payback time.. #TRUMP is not for sale

  81. Kim Jerue
    April 28, 2015

    I can not believe what has become of our country . How do we turn this around , or has it all gone too far?

    • simpleunhookedliving
      April 30, 2015

      That is a very good question Kim. Even if it has gone too far, we have to try to stand up for what is right until we die.

    • cindy (@clk706)
      April 30, 2015

      Vote for change, vote for Bernie Sanders!

  82. Scott Hagerman
    April 28, 2015

    Too bad the author isnt more educated about parabens, as they could make a more compelling arguement. Parabens are NOT poisons, or harmful to the body. You are seriously saying that rubbing some on your skin (btw, no peer reviewed studies have been able to confirm the theory that they are bad for you that someone made years ago) is more dangerous than EATING THEM? They are in thousands of prepared foods, that you ingest. EVEN NATURAL FOODS like blueberries, carrots, etc, have parabens! Educate yourself before writing an article, please!

    • simpleunhookedliving
      April 30, 2015

      Hey Scott, too bad you didn’t read the article with a little more discernment because your comment is off base. Why are you being all huffy? The information about parabens was taken from the write up in the Federal Register submitted by Sen Feinstein. She’s the one who says they’re dangerous. It’s not about my opinion on parabens.

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