In a unanimous vote, the California State Assembly passed Senate Bill No. 1249, and last Friday Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law. The law bans cosmetic products that have been tested on animals or products that include ingredients that have been tested on animals. Thirty-seven other countries have already banned animal testing on cosmetics.
The law will go into effect on January 1st, 2020, and will apply to all cosmetics currently sold in California as well.
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The California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act was written by Democratic state Senator Cathleen Galgiani. The law stipulates that it is illegal for manufacturers to “import for profit, sell or offer for sale” any cosmetics tested on animals. Huffington Post reports that violations will be punished with a fine of $5,000, followed by an additional $1,000 fine for every day that the violation continues. The law does allow for exceptions in the event that animal testing is required by federal law and there are no viable alternatives. Companies can have testing done for products and ingredients if the product is to be sold in foreign markets where their law requires such testing, and then the company can also sell those same products in California. For example, China requires all imported cosmetic products to be animal tested before sale. The bill states:
Notwithstanding any other law, 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, on or after January 1, 2020.”
The scientific conclusions is that toxicological tests have advanced enough so that animal testing is no longer relevant. The program manager for animal research issues at the Humane Society of the United States, Vicki Katrinak, told the Huffington Post,
We’re hopeful this law will encourage the federal government to pass the Humane Cosmetics Act,” program manager for animal research issues at the Humane Society of the United States Vicki Katrinak told the Huffington Post.
Rabbits, mice, rats, and guinea pigs are frequently used for cosmetic testing. The process is generally torturous and the animals are often killed after testing.