California to Become the First State to Ban Cosmetic Animal Testing

California to Become the First State to Ban Animal Testing for Cosmetics
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The California state legislature has passed a bill to outlaw the sale of cosmetics that have undergone animal testing. If signed into law, the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act will go into effect in 2020, making California the first state to have such a policy.

The bill was first introduced by California Senator Cathleen Galgiani in February. It will now be sent to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. Glamour reports that given Brown’s historical support of animal welfare issues, “the bill’s proponents are optimistic that it will pass.”

“I’m proud of California lawmakers for moving science, industry, and ethics forward today,” Senator Galgiani said in a statement. “Cruelty-free cosmetics are good for business, safe for humans, and don’t harm animals.”

The bill applies to a vast slew of products, including deodorant, shampoo, and conditioner. For the purposes of the bill, cosmetics are specifically defined as “any article intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduce into, or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance.”

While animal testing is still legal at the federal level, the Act may have nationwide repercussions. Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H., vice president of research policy with the Physicians Committee, which co-sponsored the bill, told Glamour that the new regulations will ideally halt the sale of animal-tested cosmetics, not just in California, but across the country.

Individual cosmetic companies including The Body Shop, Too Faced, Urban Decay, and Lush Cosmetics have already become vocal about this issue. The Body Shop recently amassed 8 million signatures for its Forever Against Animal Testing campaign and is now taking its petition to the United Nations in an attempt to eradicate animal testing on a global scale.

China is the last major country to require animal testing for cosmetics, which has slowed the worldwide transition to cruelty-free product lines considerably. However, Bloomberg reported earlier this year that China is currently moving away from these practices, which should make it easier for more international cosmetics companies to adopt cruelty-free policies.

Almost 40 countries around the world have banned animal testing for cosmetics. The European Union banned the sale of all animal-tested cosmetics in 2013.

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Emily Monaco
Emily Monaco

Emily Monaco is an American food and culture writer based in Paris. She loves uncovering the stories behind ingredients and exposing the face of our food system, so that consumers can make educated choices. Her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Vice Munchies, and Serious Eats.