Review of the Year: US Food, Beverage and Cosmetics Law (California)

All the questions

Year in review

California has introduced and enacted a number of bills to further regulate the use of chemicals in food and cosmetic products.

i Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredients Right to Know Act 2020

As of January 1, 2022, the Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredients Right to Know Act requires manufacturers of cosmetic products sold in California to make certain disclosures to the state’s Department of Public Health.6 Among other things, manufacturers must disclose every fragrance ingredient or flavor ingredient that appears on any of the chemical lists maintained by an “authoritative body,” including state and federal agencies and some lists maintained by governments. of Canada and the European Manufacturers must also disclose any fragrance allergens included in Annex III of EU Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009.8 This information is publicly available through the state’s Safe Cosmetics Database.9 The state Department of Health Services administers and enforces the law.ten

ii Hazardous Substances Information and Training Act

From July 1, 2020, manufacturers and importers of a hazardous substance that takes the form of a cosmetic are required to publish Safety Data Sheets (SDS) on their websites and translate the SDS into four languages or more.11 The Director of Industrial Relations keeps the list of hazardous substances up to date.12

The new requirements do not apply to cosmetics packaged for distribution and use by the general public, or to retail establishments.13 Thus, manufacturers or importers of cosmetics whose only connection with California is the distribution of finished products or retail sales are not affected.14 The Occupational Safety and Health Division applies the rules of the Labor Code.15

iii Cosmetic Safety Act

Effective January 1, 2025, this law prohibits the manufacture and sale of a cosmetic product that contains intentionally added amounts of 24 specified chemicals.16 The list includes formaldehyde, certain plasticizers (i.e. phthalates), certain perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and mercury.17 Some of these substances, particularly phthalates and PFAS, have become an increasing target of state regulations for various consumer and commercial uses. The law provides for the presence of substances listed as impurities only in trace amounts.18

iv Food packaging and kitchen utensils

Enacted in October 2021, the California Safer Food Packaging Act amended the California Health and Safety Code to apply restrictions similar to those in the Cosmetic Safety Act (discussed in Section II.iii, above) to food packaging and kitchen utensils. As of January 1, 2023, all cookware manufacturers whose products intentionally contain any of the designated chemicals on the handle of the product or on any food contact area must publish on their website a list of chemicals present and links to authoritative chemical lists.19 Effective January 1, 2024, manufacturers of cookware that intentionally contains chemicals added to the designated list must indicate the presence of the chemical(s) on the product label in English and Spanish.20 The sale or distribution of food packaging containing PFAS has been prohibited since January 1, 2023.21

Donovan B. Sanford