California Just Officially Banned the Sale of Animal-Tested Cosmetics

Most of the cosmetic products that we used to use on daily basis were tested on animals. Unfortunately, most of these animals after the testing was done were commonly killed. Well, this will not be the case as since last year any testing on animals is banned by law.

As per the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, quoting: it is unlawful for a manufacturer to import 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, except as specified.

Any company that tries to oppose this law will be initially fined with $5,000 and$1,000 for each day of the violation. It can be enforced by the district attorney or city attorney in the county or city where it happens.

The companies used rabbits, mice, rats, and guinea pigs for their testing. If the testing was done for possible side effects of eye irritation, the given animal had chemicals dripped into its eyes, or if the testing was done for the skin, the chemicals were rubbed onto its skin. In addition to this, they were administrated “lethal dose” tests meaning ingestion of large amounts of a test chemical in order to be determined possible terminal effect.

However, this now is history thanks to the efforts of The Human Society of the United States, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Social Compassion in Legislation, and the LUSH cosmetics company. This coalition contributed to the issue of this law.

Julie Mancuso, a president of Social Compassion in Legislation, along with the Physicians Committee, worked really hard for this law. She is very grateful to Governor Brown for signing this lifesaving law. Mancuso considers this law a dream come true for her and this is a great step forward for humanity.

Kristie Sullivan, the Vice President of Research Policy at the Physicians Committee, is also very proud for the issue of this bill and that their joined efforts with Social Compassion in Legislation brought great result. She believes that this historic bill will lead to progress for science, ingredient safety, and animal salvage. However, their fights do not stop here; she plans to be a powerful advocate for policy change and educating foreign regulators about the effective, affordable non-animal testing methods available today.

This law will urge manufacturers to stop selling animal-tested products across the states thus contributing to saving lives of many animals.

Although this is a big step to protecting the animals the problem is still not fully solved. Namely, FDA does not require animal testing, but it does not discourage it. Specifically, the Act does not specifically require the use of animals in testing cosmetics for safety, nor does the Act subject cosmetics to FDA premarket approval. Nonetheless, FDA claims that the agency always recommended cosmetic manufacturers to proceed with the most appropriate and effective testing for substantiating the safety of their products.

Now, HSUS works to convince the agency to clearly ban any animal testing and cease the sale of cosmetic products that were animal tested. The California law is the first step to complete probation of animal testing. The HSUS program manager for animal research issues, Vicki Katrinak, stated that “they hope that the law will encourage the federal government to pass the Humane Cosmetics Act.”

If this law is passed it will put an end to the use of all cosmetic products containing ingredients that had been tested on animals. There will be exceptions for ingredients tested on animals for non-cosmetic purposes as required by certain regulatory agencies.

However, the export of cosmetic products should be also considered, according to HSUS the Chinese government conducts mandatory animal tests on all imported cosmetic products. So, even if a cosmetics company complies with the law not to test their products or ingredients on animals, but offers them to China, these products cannot be considered cruelty-free.

HSUS lists countries and regions that restrict animal testing like Norway, Switzerland, Guatemala, New Zealand, the European Union, India, Israel, Taiwan, Turkey, South Korea, and large part of Brazil.

Until the law is brought on federal level we can contribute to this cause by purchasing products with the logo of “Leaping Bunny” Approved Brands. This logo is internationally recognized symbol that guarantees consumers that the product has not been tested on animals. You can check for the existence of this logo on the packaging of the products or on the websites of various cosmetics and household products all around the world.