California has become the very first state in U.S. history to ban the sale of cosmetics that have been developed using animal testing and could pave the way for other states to follow suit.
Senate Bill 1249, also known as the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, was introduced into California Assembly by Sen. Cathleen Galgiani earlier this year. Following a unanimous vote this week, the bill will now head to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown for a final signature before it becomes official law.
The bill explains that in the state of California, there are existing laws prohibiting cosmetic manufacturers from testing products on animals when alternative test methods that have been approved by Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) or other specified agencies are available.
RELATED: HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS TESTED ON ANIMALS
Galgiani's bill will extend this law to include prohibiting California manufacturers from profiting off or selling any cosmetics that have been tested on animals and will also forbid the use of ingredients produced from animal testing as well. Under the umbrella of "cosmetics" includes makeup, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, and more.
Humane Society International (HSI) estimates that each year anywhere between 100,000 and 200,000 rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, and mice are used for cosmetic testing all over the world. Although dogs and monkeys aren't used for cosmetic purposes, they're often subjected to other forms of harmful chemical testing.
On their website, HSI claims there are lots of superior non-animal test methods available, but not enough yet for every single area of testing to be covered. Wherever there are gaps in testing, manufacturers turn to animals.
Animal rights groups, California locals, and celebrities alike came together over the past several months to back the monumental bill. Clueless actress Alicia Silverstone traveled to California's capital Sacramento in mid-August to advocate for change.
“All the people of California, given the option to choose between something that’s tested on animals and something that isn’t, they would choose it not to be,” Silverstone said. “It’s just sometimes too hard to make those choices because they don’t have the time or the money or the information.”
The Los Angeles Times reported more than 6,500 passionate Californians wrote to legislators to convince them to pass the bill, with many supporters saying they're confident this will be the moment that will ignite change throughout the country, perhaps even internationally as well.
There are currently several regions of the world were cosmetic animal testing has been outlawed. The European Union was actually the world's first set of countries to ban this practice, with Norway joining in on the anti-testing crusade just last year. Israel and India have also taken the steps to outlaw testing, with India becoming the first Asian nation to do so.
If Gov. Brown signs the bill into law, it will go into effect Jan.1, 2020. With California leading the charge on change, there just might be a ripple effect felt throughout the country where other states will realize it's about time they update their animal rights laws, too.