Friday, January 30, 2009

The FDA Globalization Act of 2009 HR 759 will be released to the public today Jan 30, 2009

Click here to read or download a copy of HR 759, the FDA Globalization Act of 2009

The FDA Globalization Act of 2008, which died in committee in December was expected to be introduced this year modified and it's here, much earlier than expected. On Tuesday I called Rep. Janet Schakowsky's office because it had been reported earlier that she might be the one to reintroduce the bill. Her rep said it was "unclear" at this time if she would. Well, the next day, in true DC confabulation, it was introduced by Rep. Charles Dingell (DemMI) (the original author of the 2008 bill) and Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (DemNJ) as the FDA Globalization Act of 2009 HR 759.

Until the bill is released on the internet today for close examination, a cursory look indicates that they may have backed off on the high fees and registration hurdles (more fees) that they were aiming at us, the little guys of the cosmetics industry. This is what is gleaned from the press release, but I'm holding off until I read the entire bill.

However, in light of the recent peanut butter salmonella scandal, the timing is perfect for a real crackdown on the food industry. Diana Kaye of Terressentials and I recently gathered a number of volunteers and we're working to put together a campaign on the onerous, business-busting fees that are expected. A minimum fee of $10,000 is targeted at anyone who makes food - that includes the artisan bread makers, cheese makers, jam and jelly folks who sell at Farmers Markets and via tiny shops and the internet.

Even if we in the cosmetics industry are off the hook, we'll going forward with our team to work with the foodie industry artisans because as the old saying goes: United we stand, divided we fall.

So our guard is *not* down - I'll keep everyone posted, and I encourage you to follow me on Facebook and also Twitter.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Just when I take some time to catch up, Mr. Wiggles wiggles into my backyard


What a handsome, sweet big dog. Just about the last think I need in my life right now. I am juggling so many clients, students and obligations it's ridiculous. We seldom have barking dogs in my village as there is a pretty stern law against it. When I heard a dog barking around 4:30 a.m., I thought it might be the new people who moved in with a big dog they keep in the backyard. When I moved to the back of my house, I realized the barking was coming from the alley, not the direction where the new folks and dog were.

I went back to sleep. Over the next two-plus hours the dog barked on and off, from up and down the block, front and back. I figured it was a stray, and felt sorry for the poor thing. At 7:15, as I was getting up, I heard a big "woof" in the side yard next to my bedroom, where a wall deadends the yard. I parted the curtain, and his big, happy face looked up at me, he got on his hind legs, and you could imagine him saying "a people - a people who will take care of me." Yeah, I'm that much a sucker.

In a flash, he had a big bowl of water at the back door, and a big bowl of cat nibbles. This is a house with four cats, and there is no way I could let him in. He was all "a'wiggle", head to tip of the tail, and from the other side of the glass, looked at Mimi without reacting. At least he isn't aggressive towards cats, a good sign.

I went out and played with him and he just couldn't get enough pets. No tag on his collar, raggedy leash still attached dragging behind him. He never barked after he laid eyes on me, and I could tell he thought he found his forever home. Sorry, Mr. Wiggles, we have to try to find your owner or another home.

Two photos later, his mug and story were out to the local neighbors and also the bigger village mail list. I called a local rescue organization, and was told to try to get him scanned for a microchip, and if he's still here in a day or two, he'd come by and give vaccinations. So kind! I doubt there's any room in his shelter, as they have over 150 dogs.

Well, between business and family obligations today I was not able to get him scanned, and the most I could do for his comfort was put a nice rug on the patio for him to lay on instead of the concrete. I was worried because temperatures are supposed to drop into the 40's Saturday night, and I have no way to bring him inside.

It really tore me up all day, worrying and wondering what is going to happen to Mr. Wiggles. I went outside several times to play with him, and as I tried to remember some of what I've seen on the Dog Whisperer, he proceeded to jump up repeatedly, "nom" on my arm (totally gentle), kiss me, and of course, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. I did get him to calm down in about five minutes, so the Dog Whisperer stuff must have worked.

At 6:30, a neighbor called. She had just gotten home from work and saw the email, and came right down. She lost her big, beautiful Doberman last year, and still has a dog house in her back yard and knows how to take care of dogs. Whew! She walked him down to her house, and we'll see about trading duties with him until this is resolved. At least I know he can be sheltered Saturday night in a cozy, well-built dog house.

Oh, he took off with her in a flash and I'm but a dim memory - you gotta love dogs for that, LOL! I'm going to get some more pics of him, he really stole my heart. I think he has a lot of pit bull in him, maybe lab, and with his handsome "Tuxedo" markings, a truly cutie pie dog.

8:30 PM update - the neighbor had to return him, he barked and was agitated. He wasn't like that in my yard, and she thinks because my patio is right by big windows and a door, and he could see inside. Her yard faces her garage side wall, and he was cut off.

Oh, I'm so worried - he may be pit bull mix and in Dade county that's outlawed, and if the police find him, he'll be put to sleep :-(

Friday, January 23, 2009

Do you make a lot of mistakes attempting to create a perfume? My online basic perfumery course will set you on the professional path to perfumery

Anya's Garden Online Basic Natural Perfumery Course
The worldwide course is one year long and consists of nine modules of study

Do you find you make some common mistakes in your attempts to create perfume? Do you even know if you're making mistakes? Are your blends muddy and you don't know why? Do you wish to gain a solid understanding of the basics of perfumery - basics that will last you a lifetime of study and perfume creation?

Then this online, interactive course is for you.

This course is for those who desire comprehensive basic training in:

- Natural Perfumery - to become a Professional Perfumer

- Education in a natural art

- General interest in blending natural aromatics for the bath and body
industry


Materials Provided for Study

- An aromatics kit of 25 absolutes and essential oils, labeled with botanical name, and country of origin. The bottles are 4ml in size, and four of the rare essences are diluted to 10%. Many students have said
these aromatics far surpass any they have experienced to date.

- A Natural Perfumery Primer that is the main handbook for the course.
The Primer is 80 pages in length and is heavily supplemented by online materials, charts, forms and links.

- Online material includes over 100 pages of topics, discussions and expansions on themes, numerous record keeping charts and forms, and hundreds of links. The student will be able to download dozens of books and articles on perfumery consisting mostly of historic materials that provide almost-forgotten experiments, recipes and tips and methods to create fragrances.

- Scent strips and pipettes.

Online website with Modules, Links, Lectures and much more. Two private Yahoo groups, one for daily interaction and live chats, one for Q&A Sessions with Industry Professionals. There is also constant teacher
support, hands-on experience with newly-learned professional techniques, networking and making worldwide friends with your other classmates.

Please feel free to read all of the information provided on http://anyasgarden.com/classes.htm

Over 70 students are currently enrolled or have completed this course. They have a solid foundation for future studies and development as a Professional Perfumer and you, too, can join their exclusive group as
someone who has studied a classic, demanding course.

Special Notice
The class size is limited for the March, 2009 course. Anya McCoy, Perfumer and Teacher, is devoting a large portion of her time working with others in the industry to fight the latest incarnationof the FDA Globalization Act. Tuition is going up for the Fall 2009 course, so I encourage you to enroll now for the March course to insure a spot at the current tuition rate.

The class is almost half full, so enrollment and either a deposit or full tuition will hold your place. The deposit and tuition are non-refundable as this is necessary to hold your place, especially if you find circumstances require you to delay your studies. Some students start the next semester and appreciate that the website and all the materials are available for one full year past the end of the course.

Be sure to read the student testimonials on http://anyasgarden.com/classes.htm - they're sure to convince you of the quality of the curriculum, the friendly learning experience and the confidence the students have gained from my online basic perfumery course.

See you in class!

Sincerely,
Anya

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I wrote to Obama's Administration today about the Energy and Commerce Committee's efforts to levy fees of $2000-$12000 on small artisan businesses




I'm working with others to organize a two-pronged effort to expose the agenda of the Energy and Commerce Committee to effectively shut down our artisan businesses. Are you the member of a Guild of association of like-minded folks who make bread, body care products, toys, cheese, wine or any other made-in-America proudly and lovingly handcrafted item? You need to join us.

Please volunteer - write me at my website contact page.

You can visit the White House page and register your objection to the FDA Globalization Act or it new incarnation - not sure what the name will be yet. Click on the contact page and send your message. Here's what I wrote (messages are limited to 500 characters.)

The Energy and Commerce Department is pushing the FDA Globalization Act or a form thereof and it will effectively put small artisan business out of business. We are organizing a grassroots group of associations of artisans - bread, cheese, perfume, bath and body care, etc. to fight the fees they wish to levy on us - from $2000 to $12000 per company. The Obama Administration needs to be aware of the Draconian law they wish to pass because it will destroy many small businesses.

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Again, please step up to volunteer. We need folks who will contact the various artisan groups and communicate with them. I have a good starter list, but it needs expansion to include more artisan guilds and associations.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Energy and Commerce Committee to US Artisans: Drop Dead


Got your attention? Too bad we all weren't paying attention to the US Energy and Commerce Committee.

Sell handmade toys, children's clothing or any child-oriented item in your shop?
Have some handmade children's toys, clothing or bath or body product you want to donate to a shelter?
Perhaps you want to give some handmade cradle or bassinet away to your best friend.

Forget it.

Come February 10th, you have to:

Empty your shop of the toys, forget about donations, and don't give them away - you might as well send them to the dump. The landfills across America should be full of handmade children's products in the coming months.

Why?

The U.S. Energy and Commerce Committee, the same group that attempted to pass the small-business-killing FDA Globalization Act last year, passed the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act in August. Quietly, sneakily, this bill was passed into law and is just now becoming evident for what it is - the death knell for any handmade artisan product for children.

We're in the early stages of launching a website that will be the home of artisan associations united to fight this Draconian Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and the coming revival of the FDA Globalization Act. Membership will be free, and open to all American artisan associations, bringing under our umbrella those who craft bread, chocolate, beer, toys, clothing, wine, bath and body products, cheese - well, you get the idea. I believe we have some innovative and powerful campaigns planned, and I will post more here when we move forward.

We have both a PR and legislative contact campaign planned for both the short term and long term goals - to fight this committee, and any other that attempts to put small businesses into bankruptcy. The CPSIA will be a hard battle, since it's already law. Just think about it - no more crocheted hats from the local store for your baby, no more wooden toys from the woodmaker on that country road. They'll be outlawed February 10, 2009, and any business selling them will be closed down.

It's a horrifying state of Big Brother and we have to take this into our own hands at a grassroots level and organize and fight.

Here's some more information, originally published by Forbes magazine.


January 16 -- "Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act is now shaping up as a calamity for businesses and an epic failure of regulation"

"Congress passed CPSIA in a frenzy of self-congratulation following last year's overblown panic over Chinese toys with lead paint. Washington's consumer and environmentalist lobbies used the occasion to tack on some other long-sought legislative goals, including a ban on phthalates used to soften plastic.

"A group called Handmade Toy Alliance is calling attention to the law's burdens in that area. Booksellers are mobilizing. Yet prominent consumer groups have continued to defend even the law's more extreme applications, and their spokespersons are dismissive of public outrage. 'I haven't heard a single legitimate concern yet,' Public Citizen's David Arkush wrote last month.

"
Instead they must put a sample item from each lot of goods through testing after complete assembly, and the testing must be applied to each component. For a given hand-knitted sweater, for example, one might have to pay not just, say, $150 for the first test, but added-on charges for each component beyond the first: a button or snap, yarn of a second color, a care label, maybe a ribbon or stitching--with each color of stitching thread having to be tested separately.

"Suddenly the bill is more like $1,000--and that's just to test the one style and size. The same sweater in a larger size, or with a different button or clasp, would need a new round of tests--not just on the button or clasp, but on the whole garment. The maker of a kids' telescope (with no suspected problems) was quoted a $24,000 testing estimate, on a product with only $32,000 in annual sales."

-----------

End of the Forbes excerpt. Any members of artisan associations reading this, please contact me via the form on my website.

I've written extensively in the past about the business-killing measures that IFRA, the EU and Global Harmonization pose to the Natural Perfumers Guild and small businesses that produce bath and body products. The new organization will work to push back the rising tide of government regulations that threaten to destroy our small, independent businesses.

Image from Hillary Lang on Flickr.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Shape-shifting odor molecules

Chemists Promote Theory of "Shape Shifting" Odor Molecules

Perfumers, perfumistas, scent geeks and assorted nose-governed folk have been aware of the shape theory of olfaction for years. Let's say a molecule of orange is square and of a certain size. Theory had it that your nasal receptor site had a square "hole" (for want of a better term) of that size that allowed that square orange molecule to travel up to the brain, where it was analyzed to be orange.

Luca Turin had a different theory, and he postulated that odor molecules vibrated to a different frequency, and it was the receptor site that passed that frequency on to the brain, and thus, we knew an orange was an orange, not to be mixed with apple.

Profs. Kevin Ryan and Stuart Firestein report in the journal "Chemistry and Senses" that they have a third theory, more linked to the shape theory - that molecules shape shift as they are inhaled. To me, it looks like a kind of hybrid between shape theory and Turin's theory - and that's about as far as I can take it, not being a scientist. Intuitively, it makes sense to me, but I'm a perfumer, not a perfumer-psychic, so I'm wondering what others may think of all this?