The California State Assembly just unanimously voted to pass bill SB 1249, which will make it illegal to sell cosmetic products that have been tested on animals. California is the first state to ban the sale of animal-tested cosmetics with its Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act. If signed into law, the bill will take effect on January 1, 2020.
Testing cosmetic products on animals has long since been a hot-button issue. Though the FDA does not require it, many companies still test their products on rabbits, mice, rats, and guinea pigs. The skin and eye irritation tests, “lethal dose,” tests and repeated force-feeding studies are forms of animal cruelty, the kind of cruelty California is now taking a stand against.
California Senator, Cathleen Galgiani (D), introduced the bill in February of this year. Governor Jerry Brown will decide whether to sign the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act into law. Historically, Governor Brown has supported animal welfare, so the bill’s supporters are optimistic that he’ll sign it into law.
According to People, the bill specifically states that, “Notwithstanding any other law, it is unlawful for a manufacturer to import or profit, sell, or offer for sale in this state, any cosmetic, if the cosmetic was developed or manufactured using an animal test that was conducted or contracted by the manufacturer, or any supplier of the manufacturer, on or after January 1, 2020.” In other words, not only can’t manufacturers sell finished products that were tested on animals they cannot sell any product that has components that were tested on animals.
If passed, what will this bill mean for California shoppers? Customers will no longer have to try to decipher a bunch of symbols on cosmetic labels trying to determine if the cosmetics they buy are supporting animal cruelty. The Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act covers products, such as makeup, shampoo, conditioner, and deodorant.
Judie Mancuso, founder and president of Social Compassion in Legislation, states that it’s time for the United States to set more humane regulations. She claimed that a cruelty-free policy is effective, as the European Union implemented a similar law more than five years ago, and companies have grown and flourished without animal cruelty as a part of their business practices.
To date, nearly 40 countries have taken a stand against animal testing by either severely limiting or banning cosmetics that have ingredients tested on animals. The European Union was the first to take a stand, banning cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients that were newly tested on animals. Norway, Israel, India, New Zealand, and Taiwan have also banned animal-tested cosmetics.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, a 2013 poll showed that 73% of American voters would like Congress to pass legislation that would phase out animal-tested cosmetics. Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H. and vice president of research policy with the Physicians Committee hopes that the new regulations California has set will convince cosmetic manufacturers to stop selling products tested on animals throughout the entire United States.
However, with 2020 more than a year away, it will be a while before we see the effects of California’s ban. In the meantime, you can choose to use cruelty-free products. PETA has a list of companies that do not test on animals as well as a list of companies who do.
If you are interested in this topic or any other related to cruelty-free and animal protection, you can contact us. We are fighting for our animals; we want to take care of them. So, you can also donate to help us with our cause.