Don’t Rationalize the Lye Lies
Who says politicians aren’t reliable? They can always be depended upon to create problems where there were none. To squawk where there were no complaints. To scramble the last vestiges of entrepreneurship. Who says they produce nothing? They are often the fall guys – the front runners – for the FDA and corporate fat cats who see money hemorrhages because they won’t remove harmful ingredients. They produce chains, you see, and privileges so they can keep drawing checks from you. If new legislation passes, it would be a non-affordable privilege to use one’s skills to make soap, lotions and other body care products.
Now in bipartisan effort, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) are stirring the lye pot with their potty lies. Enter: the Personal Care Products Safety Act (S. 1014). It doesn’t regulate cancer-causing chemicals – it simply washes out small-time artisan and natural soap makers. Perhaps they should try the wares they wish to eradicate – nothing cleans grime and corruption like hand-crafted soap, thoughtfully made with lye. Unfortunately, some people are already starting to rationalize this absurdity that will harm more people than you can imagine….
Firstly, do you really think the republicrats of this world lie awake at night, wringing their hands for your health and safety? Do they care for the “small guy?” Every past example screams NO! And do you know of any bloated handmade soap empires? Any artisanal soap kings that should be dethroned? No, only corporate soaps, many of which are made by pharma companies. We know what this Act is really about – eroding the ability to make your own soap and ending a humble side income. Just like other predecessors with “safety” in the title, it means the complete opposite here.
The Personal Care Products Safety Act (S. 1014) will punish artisan soapmakers with annual fees, registrations, licenses, inspections and a requirement for detailed information on everything. One could see where if soap craftspeople were hung out to dry, it would affect not only them, but those with chemical sensitivities and allergies, developing children, those with skin diseases and disorders, websites like ETSY, local events that sell booths, and….farmers, nuns and monks?
Farmers use personal body care – such as from extra goat’s milk – to supplement their often abysmal income. It wouldn’t be worth doing if this act goes through which specifically targets income from homemade body care.
Farm-to-Consumer-Legal-Defense-Fund to address some rationalizations with a Facebook status update. Perhaps people were trying to find some reassurance and go “whew! there’s hope.” Commenters brought up an exemption for makers bringing under $100,000 (but it never stops there!).
FTCLDF mentioned the plight of farmers, but also pointed out that it’s $100,000 in GROSS sales. Which is really nothing if you consider someone trying to support a family with an additional income, and that gross does not factor anything else. They use the FSMA and Tester Hagan Amendment as just one of many examples where the government has a proclivity for ignoring their exemptions. And, “Just because it currently has this floor, doesn’t mean that they won’t arbitrarily change it or get rid of it all together.” Think about the small operations that supply health food stores? Gone.
It truly is a war on small business; make that micro biz, individual-to-individual. What this act essentially does is makes sure that a profit is not possible. At all. Someone must either keep way under the mark (because remember supply/labor expenses don’t count with gross sales amounts) or take a huge hit and risk being utterly in the red. In other words, it wouldn’t even be worth it to try. Once again – there is no legitimate need for this act. We are talking about non-consumable goods not used as drugs or medicine. Elephant in the room – the government is forcing people to use carcinogenic, endocrine-disrupting, petro-chemical store junk.
One commenter said she would have to drop soapmaking if the act goes through. She adds, “…the market is only free for those who make millions and can get corporate welfare.” And why should that be?
If this is rationalized through, it won’t stop at the $100,000 gross sales mark, especially if it’s under the guise of safety. Isn’t it funny how something can be deemed “safe” for the right price?
Back to nuns and monks. The non-religious might wish to rationalize and ask how this affects them. Yet it would be hard to deny that nuns, monks, and other disciples view charity as an action, whereas others have too many limitations and obligations. They practice and master old trade skills like shoemaking, candle and soapmaking to be more independent from consumer needs and further their charity. Soapmaking used to be a way to supplement the convents and monasteries. However, what most people don’t realize is that the product proceeds must now go support mandatory health care under Obamacare. See: If you like your nun soap, you can’t keep your nun soap… So what now of making a supplemental craft into a commercial entity, but without the corporate breaks? This just goes to show that if you want to escape the madness of the system, you can’t even run to a convent to do so.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take much effort to contact your reps. The Handmade Cosmetics Alliance made an easy form to follow, although it’s always good if you can use your own words. As an aside, the HCA reminds the reps of the political incorrectness of disempowering predominantly female workers; 300,000 of which are members of HCA. Contact Congress.
If we let this happen, then we cannot also say, “there’s always a way to get by in this world, use your talents, use your passion, start a side business!” Not if we let them get snuffed out in increments. The goal for America, if we let it, is austerity and toxicity. In a word: dependency.
Illustration by Heather Callaghan