The letter is in response to the EPA’s public comment period, asking stakeholders to submit comments on how the program could be expanded to other product categories. The EPA says it will use the public input received in writing to guide the development and implementation of the expansion of its Safer Choice and/or DfE programs.
Expanding the EPA’s Safer Choice program to beauty aims to help clear up confusion for consumers shopping for “clean and green” products—and end meaningless claims such as “eco-friendly,” “all-natural,” and “sustainable,” which are not clearly defined.
The letter states:
“Not only would expanding Safer Choice make it easier for consumers and retailers to identify and purchase safer products, but it would also enable brands to market their products to consumers who are increasingly concerned about the safety of ingredients in beauty and personal care products, and wary of greenwashing.”
The letter (view here in its entirety) also calls out the FDA for not publishing a list of recommended ingredients for formulators, stating:
“Adding beauty and personal care products into the Safer Choice program, including the expansion of the Safer Chemicals Ingredients List, could provide an important national pathway for consumers and commercial buyers seeking to purchase safer products.”
Who signed the letter?
Thirty-nine retailers, brands, and organizations signed the letter to the EPA, including:
Environmental Defense Fund
Environmental Working Group
Green Science Policy Institute
Natural Resources Defense Council
Responsible Purchasing Network
Safer Choice & DfE Programs Inspire Change
Currently, the Safer Choice program primarily certifies products for formulated household cleaners. There are approximately 2,000 products certified.
When the Safer Choice logo, shown above, is displayed on packaging, it makes it easy for consumers to quickly identify products free of harmful chemicals that are commonly used in cleaning products, including PFAS, phthalates, and formaldehyde releases.
In addition, EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) certification helps consumers and commercial buyers identify antimicrobial products that meet the health and safety standards of the pesticide registration process required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) as well as other rigorous criteria required by the agency.
EPA’s Safer Choice and DfE labels are inspiring change—and the creation of ‘cleaner’ products. Some household cleaning brands have reformulated in an effort to comply with the certifications and display the logos on packaging. “Walmart, Target, and Amazon require or incentivize some of their suppliers to meet the Safer Choice standards,” states Toxic-Free Future in a blog post.
Feature: Growing Clean Beauty From the Ground Up