There’s great news for animal lovers and beauty buffs alike. In a unanimous vote, the California State Assembly and Senate passed bill 1249, the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act. This bill makes it illegal to sell products, from makeup to deodorant, that contain any ingredients tested on animals. The proposed legislation would make California the first state in the U.S. to implement a cruelty-free cosmetics requirement.
If Gov. Jerry Brown signs the bill into law, the change will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. Many are optimistic about Brown’s support because he has sided with animal-welfare issues in the past.
California Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, a Democrat, introduced the bill at the beginning of year. It then went through multiple revisions with help from coauthors in both houses.
The bill states: “It is unlawful for a manufacturer to import for 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.”
Any companies found violating it will be subject to fines. The bill includes an initial fine of $5,000 and an “additional fine of $1,000 for each day the violation continues.”
Change in the Air
Around the world, nearly 40 countries have banned cosmetics testing on animals. However, the U.S. is not one of them. Here, the FDA doesn’t require products to be tested on animals, but leaves it up to the manufacturers to implement their own effective safety checks.
The agency says it does support the idea of companies using other methods when possible.
“FDA supports the development and use of alternatives to whole-animal testing as well as adherence to the most humane methods available within the limits of scientific capability when animals are used for testing the safety of cosmetic products,” according to the FDA website. “We will continue to be a strong advocate of methodologies for the refinement, reduction, and replacement of animal tests with alternative methodologies that do not employ the use of animals.”
As a result, “inaction at the federal level compels California to lead the way in ensuring a cruelty-free cosmetics market for its citizens by barring any new ingredients or cosmetics that are tested on animals,” Galgiani wrote in a statement. Supporters of the California measure hope it spreads across the U.S. and inspires manufacturers to change their testing practices either way.
In the meantime, you can vote with your wallets and buy cruelty-free products, if you’re so inclined. PETA has a few helpful resources, including a list of popular beauty brands it claims are still testing on animals and those that don’t.