EWG Board Member Michelle Pfeiffer Applauds “First Step” Towards Cosmetics Safety Reform

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For Immediate Release: 
Monday, March 23, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO – EWG board member Michelle Pfeiffer applauded Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) for taking the first serious action toward updating the woefully outdated law governing the cosmetics industry. 

On March 11, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health approved landmark cosmetics safety legislation, the first step toward finally protecting consumers from potentially toxic chemical ingredients in personal care products.

The Cosmetics Safety Enhancement Act of 2019 (H.R. 5279), authored by Pallone, would modernize how FDA regulates personal care products by requiring companies to demonstrate the safety of their products and subjecting chemicals of concern to FDA review. The bill would also require companies to report adverse reactions, like burns, and provide more transparency about product ingredients.

Pfeiffer and fellow board member and EWG President Ken Cook went to Capitol Hill last May to support efforts by Pallone, Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) and others who have worked to update the law. 

“Thanks to Chairman Pallone for taking on such an important and overdue cause to modernize federal law and regulation for personal care products,” Pfeiffer said. “We know much more today about the impacts of chemicals on our health than we did when the government regulated cosmetics decades ago. Companies now have safer, healthier ingredient choices available for products that people use and apply to their skin every day, and more and more companies are embracing fully transparent information for consumers. The subcommittee’s vote is an encouraging step to bring federal safeguards in line with consumer demands and up-to-date science.”

Currently, cosmetics companies do not have to register with the FDA, submit cosmetic ingredient information, adopt good manufacturing practices, provide access to safety records or report serious adverse events when they occur. The agency also does not have the authority to recall contaminated personal care products.

“Michelle first found EWG after doing her own research about what products were the safest for her family, and no one is more committed to seeing these much-needed reforms become law than Chairman Pallone,” said Cook. “EWG has advocated for new federal cosmetics industry standards for nearly 20 years, and it feels like the moment is upon us. EWG and all of our supporters are grateful for the tireless leadership of Chairman Pallone, Sens. Feinstein and Collins, Rep. Shimkus and others for getting us to this critical point.”

Pfeiffer’s commitment to cleaning up the personal care and cosmetics industries goes beyond her lobbying in support of policy reforms in Washington.

“The actress and environmentalist recently launched the first-ever genderless fine fragrance line that is entirely transparent in disclosing its ingredients. Henry Rose is a new collection of six distinct scents that meets EWG’s rigorous criteria for health, ingredient disclosure and transparency, making it the first fine fragrance line to earn the EWG VERIFIED™ mark.”

Since its launch, Henry Rose and Michelle have received a number of accolades, including the Women’s Wear Daily Founder Award; Refinery29 Beauty Innovator Awards 2019: Sustainable Shop; Fast Company 100 Most Creative People in Business 2019; and Good Housekeeping Sustainable Packaging Awards 2019: Standout Scent.


The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.