California becomes first US state to ban animal testing in the cosmetics industry

California has become the first state in America to ban the testing of beauty products on animals. The news came yesterday when the California State Assembly passed Bill SB 1249 by a unanimous vote of 80–0. This means it will be illegal to sell cosmetics that have been (or include ingredients that have been) tested on animals.

The bill defines cosmetics as, “Any article intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance, including, but not limited to, personal hygiene products such as deodorant, shampoo, or conditioner.” It also extends to all make-up and hair styling products.

Related: The truth about animal testing in the cosmetics industry

Now that the bill has been passed, it must be signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Once he signs, the ban will be put into place on 1st January 2020. Should any cosmetic company continue to produce and sell products tested on animals after this date, the bill specifies they will be punished by an initial fine of $5,000, and an additional fine of $1,000 for each day the violation continues.

It was Senator Cathleen Galgiani who set the bill in motion six months ago, and today she says, “I’m proud of California lawmakers for moving science, industry, and ethics forward today. Cruelty-free cosmetics are good for business, safe for humans, and don’t harm animals.”

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The Humane Society of the United States has welcomed the ban, describing the news as “groundbreaking” and “a victory” for the US. In a statement shared on their website, they said, “The world is rapidly moving toward ending animal testing for cosmetics. Let’s celebrate the victory for animals in California today, while keeping up the push to make the United States the next country that says ‘no’ to cruel cosmetics."

California has set a precedent for the rest of the country. When the ban comes into effect, the state will join nearly 40 countries; including member countries of the European Union, India, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland, who have already banned or limited animal testing in the industry.

Photo: Pexels.com

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