Closing the Fragrance Loophole

Sitting on the steps of the CA State Capitol Building

August 15, 2019 I had the opportunity to participate in a lobby day for the Fragrance and Flavor Right to Know Act (SB 574) as part of my work with Beautycounter. As you may know, part of our movement involves working towards getting more health protective laws passed so everyone can have access to safer products. After all, we all deserve better, right?

In case you missed it:

Under current law, businesses are required to list the ingredients used in the formulation of their products save for “fragrance” and “flavor” which means that many ingredients are hidden from consumers which can expose them to unwanted harm. SB574 was written with the intent of closing the loophole that has resulted from the current lack of regulations as it would require full disclosure of these ingredients.

Although it was my first time entering the State Capitol building in Sacramento, I felt at home. Maybe it was seeing the displays honoring the various counties I have lived throughout my life as a native Californian or perhaps it was simply that I was on a mission to be a part of this historic bill but I was ready to take on a big day.

Since the bill has already passed through the Senate, made its way through Assembly committees and is waiting to go to the Assembly floor for a vote in September, it was our mission to meet with as many members of the Assembly as possible to make them aware of the bill before it gets called up for a vote.

I was placed on a team of 4 women, led by the Policy Director from Black Women for Wellness- a co-sponsor of the bill, and had representatives from Breast Cancer Aid and Beautycounter. Our team had 5 meetings scheduled with staff and along with 14 other teams lobbying on the same day, we were scheduled to meet with almost every office.

My position was to share Beautycounter as an example of a company that has kept its commitment to full disclosure of ingredients and still been profitable as a business. On a personal note, I spoke to the interactions I have had with all of you over the last 4.5 years and the growing demand for access to information about the products we are buying.

Every office I met with was not only receptive but felt strongly that their Assembly member would have no issues voting in favor of the bill. Overall, it was a very positive day and we are very hopeful the bill will pass come the vote in September.

I look forward to updating you after the vote but in the meantime we could use your help! If you would like to have your voice heard, let your local representative know this issue is important to you. All you have to do is text “Safer Scent” to 52886 and follow the prompts (takes a couple of minutes) and a message will be sent to them. It only takes contact from 20 constituents to push an issue onto the agenda of a representative. Let your voice count today!

© 2020 by Shea Smith