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CEO Blog: Cruelty Free New York Update

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Statue of Liberty in front of New York skyline

STOP PRESS! The New York Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act has been adopted unanimously in the full Senate. Next step will be the vote in the full Assembly.

The New York Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act (A5653-A/S4839), a bill introduced by Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and Senator Alessandra Biaggi, would prohibit the sale, after January 1st 2023, of any cosmetic product that has been tested on animals. Cosmetics currently on the shelf would remain but, moving forward, it would be unlawful to offer cosmetics for sale that involve new animal testing to establish safety. Instead, companies would use the modern non-animal testing methods that are now widely available.

Replacing cosmetics animal tests with non-animal methods is not only the humane thing to do, it’s also good science and good business.

Many of the now antiquated animal tests were first developed over 70 years ago when product testing was in its infancy. Humans are not rabbits, or mice or guinea pigs, so it's not surprising that transferring the results of animal tests to humans has proven to be problematic and misleading in many cases. Non-animal methods are tests that use simple organisms like bacteria, or tissues and cells from humans, and sophisticated computer models. Such tests are often cheaper, faster and more predictive for humans.

Thanks to campaigns by Cruelty Free International and others, images of restrained rabbits having chemicals dripped in their eyes and guinea pigs with chemical burns on their skin made it difficult for most consumers to reconcile such suffering for the pursuit of a new mascara or beauty cream. As a result, over the past 20 years, hundreds of cosmetics companies have voluntarily sworn off animal testing, while some also invested heavily in the development of non-animal testing methods. Many are now joining us in the battle to make sure that chemical safety laws do not infringe on prohibitions on cosmetics animal testing.

Ensuring that these modern alternatives are used and that animals are not still harmed for the sake of cosmetics is a moral imperative that everyone should be able to agree on. Polls show that ending the sale of animal tested cosmetics is a value shared across generations, race, gender and political affiliations; and a February 2022 poll conducted by the Siena College Research Institute found that 70 percent of New Yorkers would support a New York state law prohibiting the sale of new animal tested cosmetics*.

What’s more, the bill has earned broad support from state and national animal protection organizations and many of the biggest players in the cosmetics industry, including the Personal Care Products Council - the leading national trade association that represents more than 90% of the U.S. beauty industry.

If passed, New York would join California, Nevada, Illinois, Hawaii, Maryland, Maine, Virginia, and New Jersey in enacting cruelty free cosmetics legislation. Passing the legislation in New York, widely regarded as a global fashion and beauty capitol, could be the tipping point that leads to the passage of a federal Humane Cosmetics Act that would harmonise cruelty free rules across the nation.

Together with the support of industry, advocates and consumers, New Yorkers can be the ones to consign animal testing for cosmetics to the history books in the U.S.

We are now closer than ever to making New York the next cruelty free cosmetics zone. The bill has successfully passed all committee hearings and now must pass a vote of all legislators in both the Assembly and Senate before being sent to Governor Kathy Hochul in hope that she will sign the bill into law.

If you live in New York, you can show your support for the NY Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act [A5653B/S4839B] at

If you are not a New York resident, but live in the United States, please take action to support the federal Humane Cosmetics Act.

If you live in the UK, Please urge the UK Government to rule out ALL cosmetics animal testing by signing our petition.

Residents of the European Union can help us protect and strengthen the EU cosmetics animal testing bans by signing the European Citizens’ Initiative.


Michelle Thew

Chief Executive Officer

Cruelty Free International

* Poll crosstabs available upon request.