California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act Advances in State Legislature; Toxicologist Testifies Alternatives Are More Efficient, Accurate, and Affordable

Cruelty-Free International

Californians may soon see an end to animal testing for cosmetics, as the California Senate Judiciary Committee passed the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, SB 1249, 5-1 during a hearing on April 24. The bill, introduced by Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton), sponsored by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL), and supported by Cruelty-Free International and Lush Cosmetics, will now proceed to its next committee assignment on the way to the Senate floor.

SB 1249 would make it unlawful for any cosmetic manufacturer to knowingly import or sell any cosmetic, including personal hygiene products such as deodorant, shampoo, or conditioner, in California if the final product or any component of the product was tested on animals after January 1, 2020. A violation would result in a fine of up to $5,000.00 for the first violation and up to $1,000.00 for each subsequent violation.

“California has long been a leader in promoting modern alternatives to animal tests,” said Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton). “Inaction at the federal level compels California to lead the way in ensuring a cruelty-free cosmetics market for its citizens by barring any new ingredients or cosmetics that are tested on animals.”

Nonanimal approaches—including engineered 3-D human skin tissues or other types of cells and sophisticated computer models—are cheaper, faster, and can better predict human reactions. In addition, companies can utilize the hundreds of thousands of ingredients for which safety data is already available.

“Consumers want safe and humane products, something that testing on animals can’t provide,” says Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H., vice president of research policy with the Physicians Committee, who provided testimony at the hearing. “Passage of the SB 1249 would vastly improve cosmetics testing by shifting industry to efficient and accurate methods.”

Sullivan was joined in her testimony by Hillary Pickles, Lush Cosmetics Charitable Giving Ambassador.

“It was clear from the testimony that cruelty-free cosmetics are both safe and good for business,” said Judie Mancuso, president and founder of Social Compassion in Legislation and co-sponsor of the bill. “We are thrilled that the committee members agreed and we look forward to bringing SB 1249 to the Senate floor.”

The European Union ended importation and sale of any new cosmetics that have been tested on animals in 2013. In 2000, California became the first state to make it unlawful to use animals for testing when an appropriate alternative method is available. In 2014, the California State Legislature passed the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Resolution urging Congress to prohibit animal testing for cosmetics and to phase out marketing animal-tested cosmetics.

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