On June 1st 2018, the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act passed by a vote of 21 to 9 in California, which means it’s one step closer to taking effect! If it takes effect, it would mean that products tested on animals will no longer be sold in California after 2020.

About The Bill

“Existing law prohibits manufacturers and contract testing facilities from using traditional animal testing methods within this state when an appropriate alternative test method has been scientifically validated and recommended by the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) or other specified agencies.

This bill would make it unlawful for a manufacturer to knowingly import for profit, sell at retail, or offer for sale or promotional purposes at retail in this state, any cosmetic, as defined, if the final product or any component thereof was tested on animals for any purpose after January 1, 2020, except as specified. The bill would specify that a violation of its provisions is punishable by an initial fine of $5,000 and an additional fine of $1,000 for each day the violation continues, and may be enforced by the district attorney or city attorney in the county or city in which the violation occurred, as specified. The bill would not apply to a cosmetic if the cosmetic, or any component of the cosmetic, was tested on animals before January 1, 2020, as specified.”

This means that cosmetics tested on animals (either the finished product or the ingredients) would no longer be sold in California. The cut-off date would be January 1, 2020, meaning that cosmetics tested on animals would still be sold until that date.

Exceptions To The Bill

However, there are 2 exceptions mentioned:

1. “Animal testing of the cosmetic or component of the cosmetic is required by the federal Food and Drug Administration or the Department of Toxic Substances Control, and there is no alternative method to evaluate a substantiated and serious specific human health problem associated with the cosmetic or component of the cosmetic that is in wide use and cannot be replaced with another cosmetic or component capable of performing a similar function.”

Therefore, cosmetics may still be tested on animals if American law requires it AND there are no alternative testing methods available.

2. “Animal testing of a cosmetic or component of the cosmetic is conducted to comply with a formal requirement of a foreign regulatory authority if the requirement was in place prior to January 1, 2020. This paragraph shall become inoperative on January 1, 2023.”

Brands would still be able to test on animals where required by law AND sell their products in California even under this bill. However, there might be changes to this exception.

This is an important bill for the United States, and could be the beginning of a new era for animal welfare. Thank you to everyone who made it possible for this bill to pass, including the 21 senators who voted in favor of this bill, and those who lobbied for it, including Harley Quinn Smith, Katie Cleary, and Maggie Q.

You can read the bill here.

Cruelty-free made simple!

Download the full list of cruelty-free brands in my 10-page guide, Cruelty-Free Made Simple. Enter your name and email below to get it in your inbox.

Suzana Rose
By Suzana Rose|
Suzana is the founder of Cruelty-Free Kitty. She believes in ethical businesses and wants to see a global ban on animal testing. She loves cats, debunking myths, and shoegaze music.