California made history late Friday night when it became the first state in the nation to pass legislation that ends the sale of cosmetics, including products like lipstick, shampoo and deodorant, that have been newly tested on animals.
Lawmakers in both houses voted unanimously on the last day of the state legislative session to pass the Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act (SB 1249) and the bill now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature. Given Gov. Brown’s stellar record on supporting animal welfare issues, including making his state the first to pass a law banning puppy mill sales at pet stores last year, we are hopeful he will sign this bill, allowing the groundbreaking law to go into effect on January 1, 2020.
As the most populated state in the country, and as the world’s fifth largest economy, California’s decision to remove animal tested cosmetics from its store shelves will no doubt have a huge impact both here in the United States and abroad. California’s pioneering action also highlights the need and urgency for Congress to pass the Humane Cosmetics Act, federal legislation that would end the production and sale of animal-tested cosmetics in the United States. The bill, sponsored by U.S. Reps. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., Don Beyer, D-Va., Ed Royce, R-Calif., Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., Frank LoBiondo, R-NJ, and Paul D. Tonko, D-NY, has been endorsed by 250 companies in the cosmetics industry.
The world is rapidly moving toward ending animal testing for cosmetics. Nearly 40 countries, including the member countries of the European Union, Guatemala, India, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan and Turkey, have banned or limited the use of animals for cosmetics testing. More than 1.8 billion people reside in countries where all cosmetic products on their store shelves were created without any new animal testing. The #BeCrueltyFree campaign, led by the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International and Humane Society Legislative Fund, is on the front lines in efforts to pass strict legislation to end cosmetic animal testing in countries including the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Argentina.
Animal testing is a cruel, outdated and unnecessary practice. In traditional tests, rabbits, mice, rats and guinea pigs have substances forced down their throat, dripped into their eyes, or smeared onto their skin, and are left to suffer for days or weeks without pain relief. Fortunately, cosmetic companies can still create new and innovative products the cruelty-free way by choosing from thousands of ingredients that have a history of safe use. For new ingredients, animal tests are increasingly being replaced with non-animal methods that are often quicker, cheaper and more reliable predictors of toxicity in humans.
We thank Sen. Cathleen Galgiani and Assemblymember Ash Kalra for championing the bill in California, and are proud to have worked with partners, including the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Social Compassion in Legislation and cosmetics company LUSH, in securing the passage of this groundbreaking bill. Let’s celebrate the victory for animals in California today, while keeping up the push to make the United States the next country that says ‘no’ to cruel cosmetics.
P.S. We’re closely monitoring the weather forecast along the Gulf Coast and are reaching out to our partners in animal welfare and to emergency managers to offer our assistance. Please remember that if it is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pets. Ensure your disaster plan includes your animals: get tips here on making a disaster plan for your pets. The HSUS is thinking of everyone in the expected path of the storm and we encourage you to heed storm warnings and solidify your disaster plans today.