Ben Shaw fights for the Tattoo Industry’s rights in the face of a new Federal Bill

Ben Shaw
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At the end of last year, the US congress passed a bill modifying the Food Drug and Administration regulatory authority (FDA) to collect specific fees and expanded its power to regulate certain products, including cosmetics. The MoCRA (Modernization of Regulations ACT 2022) will require cosmetics to comply with various requirements, including adverse event reporting, good manufacturing practice, mandatory recall authority for FDA, safety substantiation, registration and listing with FDA, additional labeling, and more. The bill has attracted reactions throughout the industry, with celebrated tattoo artist Ben Shaw being the latest to share his opinion on the issue.

Ben Shaw is not a new name in the US tattoo scene; since he began his professional career, he has contributed significantly to the industry’s growth. Ben Shaw is the former chairman of the regulatory board for Body Art Practitioners in New Mexico. Ben lobbied Senate bill SB275, which effectively created the board of Body Art practitioners. Before that, Ben was serving as an advocate for safe tattooing. 

He is also the co-founder of the guild of ethical tattooists, an educational organization consisting of professional tattoo artists, and a founding member of the Launchpad, an online discourse group for vetted Tattoo professionals.

Ben has been very vocal about issues affecting the tattoo industry in New Mexico and across the country. He is the state representative for the Alliance of Professional Tattooists (APT), and APT pigment committee member. Through his tattoo studio, he has also been helping create more awareness of safe tattooing and challenges in the field. 

Speaking about the newly passed MoCRA Bill, Ben Shaw says it is a wake-up call for the tattoo industry and will affect all tattoo artists. “Never had there been any sort of federal mandate that will affect our entire tattoo as this will. This is also a sign that through a lack of communication and cooperation, the federal government can make drastic changes to our rules and regulations without input or knowledge,” says Ben Shaw.

There is a lot of disconnection, fear, hatred, and confusion in the tattoo industry which Ben Shaw believes has led to some of the problems in the field today. People are afraid of speaking up, others feel like some have no business being in the industry, and those who speak up, like Ben Shaw, rarely get the needed support. Ben Shaw has faced many challenges. Some people tried to show him why trying to unify and fight for the tattoo industry is a hopeless cause. But Ben Shaw refuses to waver in his resolve. He believes as one of the contributors to the economy, the tattoo industry should also be involved in policy making.

Ben Shaw aims to build a more connected community that will help them get their opinions to the government and calls on every tattoo artist in the country to join in. He has created a discourse group where you can learn about his team’s efforts to connect tattoo artists and join the APT. Ben Shaw hopes to bring the collective interests of the tattoo industry to the FDA and federal government.


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