SACRAMENTO--A groundbreaking law, the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, which passed in 2018, will ban all sales of cosmetics that have been tested on animals after January 1, 2020. The new law, authored by Senator Cathleen Galgiani (Stockton) and co-sponsored by Social Compassion in Legislation and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, was applauded by conscientious consumers around the world. The law makes important gains for animal protection and scientific standards while keeping existing products on California's shelves.
"We are proud to have led the effort to pass this monumental law," said Judie Mancuso, founder and president of Social Compassion in Legislation. "Animal testing is not needed to prove the safety of cosmetics and personal hygiene products, and this new law codifies that scientific fact. We must modernize and get rid of these antiquated protocols and stop torturing poor innocent animals. Once again, our great state of California is a leader on such important smart and compassionate animal rights issues."
"This law will ensure safer cosmetics as well as other chemicals and products, as it requires manufacturers to certify safety of their ingredients using modern, nonanimal testing methods," said Kristie Sullivan, MPH, vice president of research policy for the Physicians Committee. "We are very proud that our efforts have spurred progress that affects not just California, but the global cosmetics market, and establishes a new standard of animal-free safety testing."
The new law prohibits the sale of cosmetics in California that have been tested on animals or contain ingredients that have been tested on animals after 2020. Certain narrow exemptions are provided for in the legislation, including for animal tests either required by a regulatory authority in another country or conducted on ingredients for non-cosmetic purposes, which are sometimes required by regulatory authorities here in the United States, such as the Environmental Protection Agency.
The California law spurred movement on similar laws in Nevada, Illinois, and at the federal level, cementing California's status as a leader on the issue. Passage of the bill also coincided with some foreign regulators, specifically those in China, starting to move away from animal testing requirements for imported cosmetic products.
"It was a long and tough fight, but we were ultimately successful in ensuring that California provides a real and verifiable cruelty-free cosmetic market," said Senator Cathleen Galgiani. "Inaction at the federal level compelled California to lead the way in banning the sale of cosmetics that were tested on animals. SB 1249 brings California's humane standards in line with the world's highest. And it says clearly that you shouldn't have to hurt an animal in order to look your best."