Physicians, Scientists, Celebrities Call for Passage of California’s Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act
Sponsors of SB 1249, the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, launched a media campaign on Monday by taking over every ad on the homepage of the Sacramento Bee for 24 hours.
The campaign was anchored by a PSA video featuring Moby, Alicia Silverstone, bill author Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton), and representatives of the bill’s sponsors, Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL) and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, among others.
The video, which was produced in association with Fisher Stevens and edited by Gabriel Nadler, was buoyed by a “Yes on SB 1249” ad campaign on the Sacramento Bee’s website. The bill would make it unlawful for any cosmetic manufacturer to sell any cosmetic in California if the final product or any component of the product was knowingly tested on animals after January 1, 2020.
“Every year hundreds of thousands of animals are maimed and killed to test cosmetics or their ingredients,” Moby states in the video as a rabbit with missing patches of fur drags itself across a floor. “These barbaric experiments usually involve applying chemicals to the shaved skin or directly into the eyes of helpless animals who are unable to move or even blink.”
The California legislature is not new in questioning the utility of animal testing for cosmetics. Californiabanned the performance of animal testing on cosmetics when alternatives exist. In 2014, the legislature passed resolution SJR-22 which urged the federal government to enact legislation that would ban sale and marketing of cosmetics tested on animals. Regarding the Federal government’s lack of movement on the issue, SB 1249’s author, Senator Cathleen Galgiani stated, “Congress has not acted, so I am urging the legislature to do what we have normally done when Congress has not acted, which is for California to move forward and lead.”
Judie Mancuso, SCIL’s president and founder, followed up the Senator’s statement by explaining how SB 1249 could have a bigger impact than just cosmetics sold in California. “As the state with the largest population and economy in the country, if California bans the sale of cosmetics tested on animals, in order to comply with our standards, manufacturers will have no choice but to stop testing on animals to sell cosmetics to the entire United States.”
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And California wouldn’t be alone. The European Union, along with India, Israel, Norway, and a host of other nations have already banned or are in the process of banning the sale of cosmetics which have been tested on animals. In fact, the European Parliament recently passed a resolution calling for its member states to push for a worldwide ban on cosmetic animal testing.
Co-sponsor of the legislation, Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H., toxicologist and vice president of research policy for the Physicians Committee, pointed out that many alternative tests exist and are proven to be more reliable than animal tests, as pointed out in her testimony during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
“Fortunately, non-animal methods based on human corneal, skin, immune, and other human cells and tissues are widely available to use in place of animal tests. In fact, non-animal methods for skin allergy perform better and are more accurate than the original animal test.”
SB 1249 is also good for business, as consumer demand for cruelty-free products rises. Hilary Pickles of Lush Cosmetics, a brand with more than 200 stores in the United States and 640 million in sales over the last 24 months, stated in her testimony in the Senate committee hearing,
“With our company being born from the cruelty-free movement, we know all too well the arguments that many others in our industry use to justify animal use and our very presence on the global market gives lie to them all. We know that many companies mask their cosmetics ingredients testing under the cloak of chemical or drug testing.”
SB 1249 is now before the Senate Appropriations Committee, and then heads to the floor of the Senate for a full vote on its way to the Assembly and, eventually, the Governor’s desk.
SOURCE Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL)