California's Cruelty-Free Cosmetic Act Signed by Governor Brown

On August 8, 2018, a proposal to ban cosmetic testing on animals, known as Senate Bill 1249 (SB 1249) or the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, was passed by the California Legislature. On Friday, September 28, SB 1249 was signed by California Governor Jerry Brown, which makes California the first state to restrict the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals by cosmetic manufacturers or suppliers.

On or after January 1, 2020, the sell of any cosmetic product by cosmetic manufacturers that has tested its final form or any ingredient on animals will be prohibited in California. Under SB 1249, violators will face appropriate fines and penalties.

The bill was introduced to the legislature earlier this year and quickly received overwhelming support. Legislators were flooded with tens of thousands of letters and phone calls from individuals supporting the bill, and support from more than 100 cosmetics companies, including Lush Cosmetics and John Paul Mitchell Systems. Celebrities Alicia Silverstone, John Salley, Maggie Q, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Harley Quinn Smith, Sia, Emily Deschanel and Alyssa Milano, to name a few, also showed their support.

Upon the bill being signed, State Senator Cathleen Galgiani, author of the bill, stated, “California now leads the country in supporting modern, reliable cosmetic safety testing, while protecting animals from unnecessary suffering.”

The co-sponsors Social Compassion in Legislation and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine both commented on the advancement, showing their upmost gratitude and contentment. Judie Mancuso, founder and president of Social Compassion in Legislation, described the event as a dream come true. "Leading this effort is the biggest accomplishment of my lifetime, and we are so grateful to Governor Brown for signing this lifesaving and landmark bill into law," she said. Kristie Sullivan, vice president of research policy for the Physicians Committee, added, “We will continue our work to modernize safety testing across the globe, including advocating for policy change and educating foreign regulators about the effective, affordable non-animal testing methods available today."

The president of world animal-advocacy group, Animal Defenders International (ADI), shared her equally enthusiastic response to the news, but heeded that more work needs to be done. “ADI is thrilled to see California take the lead and outlaw the import and sale of cosmetics tested on animals. Other US states now need to follow suit and make these outdated, unnecessary tests a thing of the past. With advanced alternatives available, there is no excuse for painful animal experiments to continue," she said.

California joins the European Union, Switzerland, India, Israel, Guatemala and other regions in animal testing restrictions on cosmetics.

Photo: Courtesy of ADI.