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 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.
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.
The animals most commonly used in testing are mice, rats, rabbits, and guinea pigs, and most of them are killed after the testing. They are tested for skin and eye irritation, so chemicals are rubbed onto the skin or dripped into the eyes of animals, and are subjected to “lethal dose” tests, in which they are given to ingest large amounts of a test chemical to see if the dose 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.
The president of Social Compassion in Legislation, Julie Mancuso, said that finally, her dream came true. She said that her group, Social Compassion in Legislation, was poised and politically ready to take this issue on. They merged forces within the Physicians Committee, and are grateful to Governor Brown for signing the lifesaving and landmark bill into law.
She believed that this is a huge step forward for humanity and it will definitely enter our history books.
Additionally, Kristie Sullivan, Vice President of Research Policy at the Physicians Committee added that the Physicians Committee is proud to have co-sponsored this historic bill, that will lead to progress for science, ingredient safety, and animals.
She says that they will dedicate to 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 urge manufacturers to stop selling animal-tested products across the United States, and the passage of the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act will be a huge victory 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 that 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.
Yet, they claim that the agency has always advised cosmetic manufacturers to conduct the most appropriate and effective testing 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 that they hope that the law will encourage the federal government to pass the Humane Cosmetics Act.”
In an HSUS press release, it was said that this law will put an end of the sales of cosmetics like lipstick, deodorant, and shampoo that contain ingredients tested on animals. The only exceptions will be done 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 HSUS adds that the Chinese government conducts mandatory animal tests on all imported cosmetic products, so it may also conduct animal tests on items pulled from store shelves. Yet, even if a cosmetics company does not test their products or ingredients on animals, and still 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. The Leaping Bunny Logo is the only internationally recognized symbol that guarantees consumers that the product has not been tested on animals. This Logo can be seen on packaging, advertising, and websites for cosmetics and household products around the world.