When it comes to making giant strides in the world of environmental and eco-friendly improvements, the state of California tends to lead the way. The state continued that trend during the last week of September when the governor signed a law into effect that made California the first state to ban the sale of any cosmetic that had been tested on animals.
The law is the first of its kind and the Humane Society of the United States is thrilled that California has set a new bar when it comes to taking a stand against “cruel animal cosmetic testing.” In most cases, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits are most frequently tested. They’re exposed to toxic chemicals to see which substances affect their eyes, skin and breathing. They’re often killed after the testing has been completed.
The law is called “The California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act,” and it spells out details which require all cosmetic manufacturers to stop importing and selling any product that has been tested on animals by January 1, 2020.
What happens if the manufacturer doesn’t abide by the new law? Well, the fines could quickly add up. The law stipulates that an initial fine of $5,000 will be issued and that the company will be charged $1,000 per day until they fall in line with the new law.
There is a bit of grey area when it comes to the law as well. For example, if a federal law requires testing and there aren’t any alternative options then the product would still be allowed. Another grey area pertains to foreign markets. If a California plans to sell a product in a foreign country and the law requires that product to be tested, the company can pay for said testing.
The next step in the fight against animal-tested cosmetics would be to pass a law at the national level. One such law was presented to Congress last year, but no action has been taken yet at the federal level. However, a move like the one made by California last month may get the momentum going.