California Bans Animal Testing in Cosmetics

©. Lush

Now, for the rest of the U.S. and Canada to get on board...

Earlier this month, the California state assembly voted unanimously to ban the sale of all cosmetics tested on animals. Bill SS-1249 will take effect on January 1, 2020, as long as it gets the final signature from Governor Jerry Brown. Supporters are optimistic, telling Glamour that "Brown's record in office shows him historically supporting animal-welfare issues, so the bill's proponents are optimistic that it will pass."

This is big news. While 37 other countries have banned animal testing already, including India, Brazil, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, Israel, and the European Union, the United States has remained neutral on the issue, with the FDA saying that,

"While it doesn't require animal testing, it 'advises cosmetic manufacturers to employ whatever testing is appropriate and effective for substantiating the safety of their products'."

This would make California the first state to pass such legislation, and the hope of the bill's various sponsors is that it will spur other states to similar action. Kristie Sullivan, vice-president of research policy with the Physicians Committee, is quoted in a statement from earlier this year:

"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."

Cross-country momentum needs to come from consumers, too, which is why Lush Cosmetics -- a skincare brand known for its fierce commitment to ending animal testing -- has teamed up with Humane Society International for a timely campaign called #BeCrueltyFree. It wants North Americans to rally in the fight against animal testing and get political. Now is the time to encourage your local representative to support anti-animal testing legislation and join the ranks of other countries that have already made such commitments.

We know it can be done. Toxicological tests have advanced to the point where animal testing is no longer necessary, or even relevant. (Lush has been pouring money into this research for years, and we've written about it before on TreeHugger.) Nor has a ban on animal testing hurt businesses in the EU over the past five years. As Judie Mancuso, president of Social Compassion in Legislation, said at the time of SS-1249's introduction, "Animals [in the EU] have been saved while companies have flourished and grown without cruelty as part of their business model."

If you live in the U.S. you can sign this pledge to support the Humane Cosmetics Act (HR-2790). In Canada, add your name here to show support for the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, which has completed its third reading in the Senate and is well on its way to becoming law. Do your part to making cruel animal testing a thing of the past.