Published On: Tue, Oct 2nd, 2018

California passes law to become the first US state to ban sales of animal tested cosmetics

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a landmark bill into law that bans the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals and will come into effect on January 1st 2020. 

california bans sales of animal tested cosmetics

In early September, The California State Assembly unanimously passed Senate Bill 1249 to make it illegal for cosmetics manufacturers to sell any cosmetics that have been knowingly tested on animals from January 2020.

On Friday (September 28th), California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a landmark bill into law on Friday aimed at banning the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals.

The California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, authored by Democratic state Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, prohibits manufacturers to “import for profit, sell, or offer for sale” any cosmetic product that was developed or made using an animal test, if the test occurs after the law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Rats, mice, guinea pigs and rabbits are the animals most often used for cosmetic testing. They are used to test whether ingredients will irritate eyes or skin and are sometimes forced to eat or breathe toxic substances, and are often killed after testing.

The Humane Society said such testing is unnecessary, as thousands of products have a history of safe use and there are other ways to assess the safety of ingredients that do not rely on animal testing and are more relevant to human health.

california bans sales of animal tested cosmetics

“We are grateful to Governor Brown for signing this bill,” California state director for the Humane Society of the United States Crystal Moreland said in a press release. “I am proud that California is the first state in the nation to take a stand against cruel cosmetic animal testing.”

Violations will be punished with a fine of $5,000, followed by a fine of $1,000 per day every day the violation continues.

However, the law does allow for some exceptions. For example, any testing required by federal law can go ahead if there are no alternatives. In addition, companies can also pay for animal testing for products and ingredients if it is required by law for sale in foreign markets. It can also sell those same products in California as long as the testing wasn’t specifically to determine the safety of the products sold in the state.

It is the first law of its kind in the U.S., though similar laws have been passed in the EU, India, Israel and Norway. A national law introduced to Congress last year has not yet been passed, though animal advocates hope California’s law might change that.

“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.

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