Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) released the following statement today after Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., announced the Agency detected asbestos in cosmetic products marketed to children and teens. Commissioner Gottlieb also outlined the need to work with Congress to address the agency’s outdated regulatory framework for cosmetics and personal care products to ensure the safety of products on the market:
“I commend Commissioner Gottlieb for his commitment to ensuring the safety of cosmetic products and I am thankful FDA accepted my request to investigate the safety of products sold by Claire’s and Justice Retail.
“Every day millions of Americans assume the cosmetics they use are safe, but unfortunately that is not always the case. The reality is that cosmetics are one of the least regulated consumer products on the market and FDA acknowledged today that the agency does not have the necessary authority to oversee the industry. For example, Claire’s refused to voluntarily recall their products after FDA detected the presence of asbestos in three of the product samples collected. Unfortunately, FDA does not currently have the authority to mandate a recall on the products.
“Examples like Claire’s refusal to voluntarily recall their asbestos-tainted products demonstrates the need to modernize the current regulatory framework for cosmetic and personal care products to ensure that FDA can act to protect consumers when industry fails to do so. That is why I have already begun the process of circulating a bipartisan discussion draft on a proposal to update our laws for the first time in over eighty years. I look forward to receiving feedback on this proposal in the coming weeks and working with FDA and stakeholders to protect consumers and modernize our cosmetics regulatory framework.”
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