Last year was the year of victory against the practice of testing cosmetic products on animals.
Namely, according to the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, it is “unlawful for a manufacturer to import for profit, sell, or offer for sale in this state, any cosmetic, as defined, 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.”
This law involves an initial fine of $5,000 and an additional one of $1,000 for each day the violation continues and may be enforced by the district attorney or city attorney in the county or city where it occurs.
“According to the Humane Society, the animals most commonly used in testing are mice, rats, rabbits, and guinea pigs, the majority of which are killed when testing is complete.
Examples of cosmetic testing can include tests for skin and eye irritation, wherein chemicals are rubbed onto the skin or dripped into the eyes of animals, as well as “lethal dose” tests, in which animals are made to ingest large amounts of a test chemical to determine the dose that causes death.”
The impressive efforts made by the coalition of The Human Society of the United States, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Social Compassion in Legislation, and the LUSH cosmetics company resulted in this law, and according to the president of Social Compassion in Legislation, Julie Mancuso:
“This is a dream come true. I had hoped in my lifetime we would say goodbye to animal-tested products. My group, Social Compassion in Legislation, was poised and politically ready to take this issue on.
We found the perfect partner to merge forces within the Physicians Committee. Leading this effort is the biggest accomplishment of my lifetime, and we are so grateful to Governor Brown for signing this lifesaving and landmark bill into law. It is a legacy both he and Senator Galgiani can be proud of, and one for the history books as a huge step forward for humanity.”
Additionally, Kristie Sullivan, Vice President of Research Policy at the Physicians Committee added:
“We at the Physicians Committee are proud to have co-sponsored this historic bill, helping draft and advance it into law—a law that will ensure progress for science, ingredient safety, and animals. We will continue our work to modernize safety testing across the globe, including advocating for policy change and educating foreign regulators about the effective, affordable non-animal testing methods available today.
Banning animal-tested cosmetics in California will encourage manufacturers to clean up their act and stop selling animal-tested products across the United States. Passage of the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act would be a win for human and animal lives.”
However, the problem is still unsolved, as the FDA does not require, but it does not discourage animal testing either. It explains;
“The FD&C Act does not specifically require the use of animals in testing cosmetics for safety, nor does the Act subject cosmetics to FDA premarket approval. However, the agency has consistently advised cosmetic manufacturers to employ whatever testing is appropriate and effective for substantiating the safety of their products. “
Yet, HSUS tries to convince the FDA to specifically prohibit animal testing and stop the sale and transportation of any cosmetic tested on animals. Therefore, this law in California is the first step, although a huge one.
Vicki Katrinak, HSUS program manager for animal research issues said, “We’re hopeful this law will encourage the federal government to pass the Humane Cosmetics Act.”
In an HSUS press release, it was said “The law will end the sale of cosmetics like lipstick, deodorant, and shampoo that contain ingredients that are newly tested on animals with a few exceptions for ingredients tested on animals for non-cosmetic purposes as required by certain regulatory agencies and for companies to comply with foreign testing requirements.”
Yet, the SUS, understands the part “to comply with foreign testing requirements” a follows:
“The Chinese government conducts mandatory animal tests on all cosmetic products imported into the country. The government may also conduct animal tests on items pulled from store shelves. Therefore, even if a cosmetics company does not test their products or ingredients on animals, if they sell their products in China they cannot be considered cruelty-free.”
Fortunately, the HSUS list of countries and regions that restrict animal testing include the European Union, India, Israel, Norway, Switzerland, Guatemala, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and much of Brazil.
Meanwhile, we can contribute to this cause by buying only “Leaping Bunny” Approved Brands.
According to the Leaping Bunny Program’s website:
“The Leaping Bunny Logo is the only internationally recognized symbol guaranteeing consumers that no new animal tests were used in the development of any product displaying it. The Logo can be seen on packaging, advertising, and websites for cosmetics and household products around the world.”