California Governor Signs Bill Banning Sale of Animal-Tested Cosmetics

The ban will go into effect in 2020.

California has officially become the first state to ban the sale of cosmetic products that undergo animal testing, The Hill reports.

On Friday, September 28, California Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill that will ban all manufacturers from attempting to “import for profit, sell, or offer for sale” any makeup product that has been tested on animals. The law won’t be put into effect until January 1, 2020, and will only apply to products created on or after that date.

According to HuffPost, any company that violates the bill could be subjected to a $5,000 fine — along with an additional $1,000 per day if the violation were to continue.

However, as pointed out by HuffPost, the bill has some loopholes. For one, companies might be able to continue to pay for animal testing, so long as it's done in a country that requires such testing to be completed (like China, which requires animal testing on cosmetic products that are imported). The LA Times reports that exceptions to the ban will also be made if animal testing is mandated by a U.S. federal agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration.

Nevertheless, the new bill reflects a significant step forward for the United States, and was considered a victory by many animal rights activists. Judie Mancuso, founder and president of Social Compassion in Legislation (a co-sponsor of the bill), said in a statement: “This is a dream come true. I had hoped in my lifetime we would say goodbye to animal-tested products.”

Vicki Katrinak, who works as the program manager for animal research issues at the Humane Society of the United States, told HuffPost that she hopes that “this law will encourage the federal government to pass the Humane Cosmetics Act.” Katrinak is referring to a bill that was brought to Congress in 2017, but has yet to pass through. The Humane Cosmetics Act aims to put an end to animal-testing on cosmetics throughout the United States.

In conversation with HuffPost, Katrinak also noted that California’s bill could have worldwide implications. “It gives greater impetus for [the cosmetics] industry to push for changes in other countries,” she said, adding: “We’re hoping that California will just be the start of resolving this issue.”

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