California to ban sale of cosmetics tested on animals

California will likely become the first state to ban the sale of cosmetics containing ingredients that have been tested on animals.

Animal testing on cosmetics is the subject of controversy, and California just took on stop closer to stopping it.

Last month, California state lawmakers unanimously approved Senate Bill 1249, the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, which would ban the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals. The bill passed in the State Assembly with a 80-0 vote and has been sent to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for his signature. It will become law once Brown signs, coming into effect January 1, 2020. To be clear, it’s unknown whether Brown will sign the bill into law.

Authored by Senator Cathleen Galgiani and co-sponsored by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and Social Compassion in Legislation, SB 1249 would make it illegal for cosmetic manufacturers to sell any cosmetic in California if the final product or any component of the product was knowingly tested on animals after January 1, 2020, with some exceptions for regulatory requirements.

The bill defines cosmetics as “any article intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduce into, or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance, including, but not limited to, personal hygiene products such as deodorant, shampoo, or conditioner.”

Senator Galgiani is quoted as saying in a media release, “I’m proud of California lawmakers for moving science, industry, and ethics forward today. Cruelty-free cosmetics are good for business, safe for humans, and don’t harm animals.” Senator Galgiani is quoted as saying in a media release.

SB 1249 principal co-author, Assembly member Ash Kalra said, “I’m honored to have had the opportunity to present SB 1249 on the Assembly floor, which would put a ban on animal testing in cosmetics, in favor of more ethical approaches to cosmetic testing. This compromise reflects how business interests and consumer protection can go hand in hand, and I commend animal rights activists and the cosmetic industry alike, as we move forward on this important legislation to protect animals and adopt cruelty-free cosmetics.”

While California will be the first US state to take this step, other countries around the world already have measure in place that ban or restrict animal testing on cosmetics. These include the European Union, Switzerland, India, Israel, and Guatemala. The Physicians Committee believes that the move will be a global game changer.

Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H., vice president of research policy for the Physicians Committee said, “Passing 1249 will alter testing practices across the globe. The use of nonanimal testing methods available today will surge, encouraging the development of even more human-relevant testing methods—methods that are applicable to safety testing beyond the area of cosmetics.”

And Judie Mancuso, founder and president of Social Compassion in Legislation, is quoted as saying, “This historic bill will save thousands of animals every year. It’s truly inspirational to see industry, animal protection, science advocates, and legislators working together to achieve this honorable objective.”

Many companies, of course, already eschew animal testing. Among these is Bliss, which recently announced that it was going cruelty free and joining PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies program.

Bliss joins PETA’s Beauty without Bunnies program after complete brand relaunch to become cruelty free