Hundreds of beauty companies around the globe—including our market leading partners Unilever, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Avon, Lush and a growing number of cosmetic ingredient suppliers—now support an end to cosmetics animal testing. Forty countries have passed laws to ban or limit such tests, as have 10 states in Brazil and three in the United States. Increasingly, consumers are looking for the words “not tested on animals” when they buy cosmetics products anywhere in the world.
These successes, which have potentially spared hundreds of thousands of animals from needless suffering, have all resulted, in good measure, from the stellar work our teams have been doing for the past decades to end cosmetics testing on animals globally. In 2020 that work continued full-steam despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Here are some of the areas where we saw significant progress this year:
- In the United States, we worked hard for reform in the U.S. Congress. We won more support from members of Congress for the Humane Cosmetics Act, a federal bill to end the use of animals in cosmetics testing, with 17 members of the Senate and 174 members of the House joining as cosponsors in 2020, bringing total support for the bill to 22 Senators and 182 Representatives.
- Forty-eight additional companies in the cosmetics industry endorsed the Act, bringing the total number of companies independently supporting the measure to 316. Approximately 600 member companies of the Personal Care Products Council, the largest cosmetics trade group in the United States, have already endorsed the bill.
- We pushed hard in the states, too, with a bill to end the sale of animal-tested cosmetics unanimously passing the Maryland Senate before the state’s legislative session was cut short due to the pandemic. In New Jersey, lawmakers are now considering such a bill. We saw similar legislation introduced in other states, including Hawaii, New York, Rhode Island and Virginia.
- Our public policy agenda moved forward in several countries, with new federal bills being introduced in Chile and South Africa, and our Mexican bill reaching the halfway point in the political process. In Brazil, we successfully defended a ban in the state of Amazonas from a legal challenge. We helped secure two additional bans in the state of Santa Catarina and the federal District of Brasília.
- We made progress in South-East Asia, with our teams in the Philippines and Vietnam persuading the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to begin discussion around a potential regional cosmetics animal testing ban in the 10-country trading bloc.
- Together with our industry partners, we pushed back on European Chemicals Agency demands for extensive new animal testing of cosmetic ingredients with long histories of safe use, a move that would severely undercut the EU’s much celebrated animal testing and marketing bans for cosmetics.
- Through our Animal-Free Safety Assessment Collaboration with global cosmetic and specialty chemical leaders, we are developing a first-of-its-kind training program in non-animal safety assessment to assist health authorities and companies of all sizes to comply with incoming animal testing bans while maintaining a high standard of consumer protection.
These successes are hard-won and indicative of the steady progress we’re making globally in ending the use of animals in cosmetics testing, and we will keep up the momentum in 2021. Bringing an end to cosmetics testing on animals in major markets worldwide is one of our signature priorities, but this is a complex challenge involving numerous government agencies and local stakeholders in a range of nations. The Humane Society family of organizations doesn’t shy away from the toughest fights to protect animals, and you can rest assured that we will keep the pressure on these entities so animals don’t suffer and die for lipstick, shampoo and mascara.