Update on developments in the US Capitol


October 2019 DC TRIP

In October members of the CTS traveled to DC to meet with House members in regard to the House Draft Bill relating to Cosmetic Reform. It was an important trip because a hearing is right around the corner. This made the trip extremely last minute and extremely important. 

Last time we visited we focused on the Republican Party. This visit was focused on the Democratic Party. 

We again had a former member join us and break the ice with the Congressmen/women.

During the trip we met with 5 Congressmen/women as well as multiple staff members. 

The Representatives and staff belonging to the districts are as follows:

  1. Rep Schakowsky (D-IL)
  2. Rep Schrader (D-OR)  
  3. Rep Welch (D-VT)
  4. Rep Cardenas (D-CA) 
  5. Rep Dingell (D-MI) 
  6. Rep Ruiz (D-CA) 
  7. Rep Butterfield (D-NC) 

If any of these are YOUR Congressman Please be sure to send them an email and/or letter.

During each meeting we helped to educate each member on modern day tattooing and the industry. We discussed the concerns that the industry have with the draft bill as it stands. A majority of the discussion was based on explaining how ingredients for topical cosmetics could be  harmful when inserted into the skin. The difference in mode of application has not discussed among law makers or regulators. We took time to explain how our industry in not running from regulation but it needs to be understood that improper regulation could create a health crisis. We are an industry that has for the most part been “self regulated” for centuries so we asked for more time to comply with their demands. It’s going to take education and understanding on both sides of the fence. 

We received great reactions from everyone we met with. 

Not unlike our other visits, most of everyone we talked to did not know Tattooing has been added to the draft. 

This visit we had a Representative from CA that has a son that was involved in tattooing. He was extremely curious about our position and began to offer up suggestion and his help. 

Stay tuned for the next trip update. If there are any additional questions please feel free to email Sean Brown at [email protected][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_media_grid grid_id=”vc_gid:1575322226897-c0569d9a-ea55-9″ include=”1003717,1003719,1003718″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Update on the Fall Open Meeting & Meet and Greet

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]November 20th, 2019 at 10 am Coalition For Tattoo Safety had its first open meeting. Supporters of the tattoo industry, members and non-members alike were presented with a lot of information and were given an opportunity to ask as many questions as they needed to.

The meeting started with CTS board of directors addressing some frequently asked questions about the Coalition which will soon be posted on our website for all the public to read. After the audience was satisfied with the answers, information was handed out about the 2020 CTS World Trade Show. The date was officially announced and the outline of the Trade Show events was shared. More information can be found in the Trade Show section of our website.

Following a short lunch break, CTS treasurer Sean Brown gave an update on each of the 3 visits he had taken to the U.S. Congress representing the Coalition and the Tattoo Industry. Summary of all the visits can also be found in our previous News Posts with a more in depth report from Sean coming soon. Sean’s update was followed by our industry’s congressional lobbyist Jennifer Walsh who shared details about the Bills in the House and the Senate, as well as what’s happening on Capitol Hill. The floor was opened up to the audience and a long and productive session of questions and answers followed, until the room was silent and all were content with the information shared.

As the tattoo industry is thousands strong, CTS asked for help from volunteers. Four new committees were formed to include: Outreach and Fundraising, Regulatory, Educational, and Ink Manufacturing. Volunteers signed up to help but as many could not make the trip to Las Vegas for the meeting we would like to extend this invitation to volunteers all over the country. More information will follow soon with details on what each committee will be handling and how to sign up to volunteer.

We firmly believe that this meeting was a great success and plan to have another one in about 6 month. We hope to see even more people attend and get involved.

Please reach out with questions and stay tuned for the presentation and the video recording from the meeting.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Hot Off The Press – October 17th 2019

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Food and Drug Administration Warning Letters:

As many of you already know, on October 1st, 2019 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released warning letters on their website for several ink manufactures. What is important to know is that both letters were issued and dated in 2018. They are not new letters. What the FDA failed to provide was the corrective actions taken by both companies. Both Ink companies had corrected the issues that the FDA had identified well within the time limit proposed. These companies called out by the FDA as well as all our member companies are constantly working to meet current regulations, be prepared for future regulations and to ensure our industry standards are higher than both.

It is also important to know that the Coalition for Tattoo Safety strives to establish and enforce that all its manufacture members follow Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). Above that, the CTS pushes its members and the tattoo industry to self-regulate, develop best practices for our industry and continue education. We are a very unique industry and as we grow it is imperative that we go above and beyond what the outside world views us as by continuing to self-regulate at a higher level. After all, it is us tattooers and manufactures that know why and how tattoos actually work.

What’s happening in D.C.?

The U.S. House is set to have a preliminary hearing on the draft bill sometime at the end of this month or in November. During the hearing members of congress will be debating and hearing testimony from stakeholders. Following the hearing they would schedule what is known as a “mark-up”, during which they would make changes to the bill and then vote on it.  The next step would be a vote on the bill on the House floor.  The CTS is planning another trip to meet with Congress in preparation for the hearing. Stay tuned for updates on our next visit.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Developments in the U.S. Congress

In October of 2018, CTS presented the first World Tattoo Industry Trade Show to present and discuss these topics of concern. Since that time, we have witnessed many artists post to social media and spread fear across the tattoo artist community. We want to make clear that creating friction with the FDA or the government will not solve this issue. We need to bring into the light how underground tattooing has a negative effect on this industry and the general public. We need to expose the black market distributing unsafe counterfeit products to unqualified artists. To succeed, we must be on the same page and come to a workable compromise for all sides involved. The tattoo industry will not survive using inadequate products and misguided regulations.

On May 14th of 2019, members of the Coalition for Tattoo Safety (CTS), Mario Barth (Intenze Products), Terry Welker (Eternal Ink), Damian Guerin (Intenze Products), Sean Brown (Ever After Pigments), Liz Cook (Ever After Pigments), and Charles Dorrell (Eternal Ink), attended meetings with staffers in Washington D.C. to discuss a pending Senate and a House bill written to revise the current FDA Cosmetic Act of 1938.

On June 26th of 2019, Sean Brown and Charles Dorrell met with House Representatives and their staff. They were all very responsive and concerned as to why tattooing has been wrapped up in a draft bill if tattooing is not a HEALTH CRISIS. . Every Congressman they met with was genuine and receptive. They all cared about our rights as Americans, business owners, tattoo professionals and collectors.

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House Draft and the Senate Bill intended to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act


A friendly reminder that ALL artists, regardless who they buy from, should refrain from criticizing companies that have been victims of these most recent FDA recalls and/or advisories. We are ALL on the same boat here and ANY one of the ink companies, whether CTS members or not, can be (and are in fact) in the crosshairs of the FDA… and that includes smaller companies that mix powder.


Both the Senate bill and House draft discuss altering and regulating the manufacturing processes of cosmetic products.

By definition, the FDA considers the act of tattooing as a cosmetic procedure.

The bills are written to address concerns affecting the tattoo industry. Within the tattoo industry, both artists and manufacturers, disagree with this definition of tattooing. Tattooing has evolved a long way during the last four decades with countless innovations and improved materials and procedures. Regardless, it was just a matter of time until legislative oversight would step in to monitor an industry involving human health and safety. CTS welcomes regulatory standards – but with input, advice and guidance provided by practicing artists and industry leaders. As discussed with other CTS members, if regulations are to be implemented, they must be realistic to our industry.

The FDA currently recognizes and accepts a list of cosmetic color additives petitioned during the last 80 years. The tattoo industry was not involved with the existing FDA guidelines for cosmetic color additives because the cosmetic industry is viewed by the tattoo arts as a separate industry from the tattoo industry. It wasn’t until recently that tattoo pigment manufacturers were aware of the stipulations the FDA has set for color additives. The proposed list of cosmetic color additives the FDA suggests be used for tattooing will NOT produce a successful tattoo. FDA color additives are essentially a dye. Dyes do not have a particle size that can be placed safely into the body for tattooing. Dyes will not stay in the dermal layer of skin where traditional tattoo pigments can lay dormant, thus creating a tattoo. FDA color additives/dyes often contain higher trace metals and can also include compounds not traditionally found in tattoo pigments. The only known method of creating a dye with the permanence of tattoo ink is to add metals and other fillers to the dye. During the Washington visit, the CTS warned staffers this approach should not be adopted for tattooing.

Members of the Coalition For Tattoo Safety will spend their own time, energy and money, and will sacrifice time away from their families to make sure our industry is viewed seriously, sets higher standards, self regulates, continues education and most of all SURVIVES.

A friendly reminder that ALL artists, regardless who they buy from, should refrain from criticizing companies that have been victims of these most recent FDA recalls and/or advisories. We are ALL on the same boat here and ANY one of the ink companies, whether CTS members or not, can be (and are in fact) in the crosshairs of the FDA… and that includes smaller companies that mix powder.