As state legislative sessions come to a close across the United States, this year has seen heartening progress and success for state-level cruelty free cosmetics legislation.
Legislation has been passed in Virginia, Maryland, Hawaii and Maine. These states will now join California, Nevada, and Illinois in prohibiting the sale of newly animal tested cosmetics. The first three bills come into effect in early 2022, and the law in Maine will come into effect in November 2021. Cruelty Free Cosmetics legislation was also introduced or re-introduced in Rhode Island, New Jersey, Oregon, and New York.
US states often serve as a testing ground for new ideas that are later adopted across the US and this is certainly holding true for ending animal testing for cosmetics. The introduction and passage of state laws creates momentum for federal action. We look forward to using these state successes to advocate for the federal Humane Cosmetics Act which we hope will be reintroduced soon.
Monica Engebretson, our Head of Public Affairs in North America, will be speaking about cruelty free cosmetics legislation in the US at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit hosted online between 22nd-24th June.
Here is a brief timeline of cruelty free cosmetics legislation in the US so far:
March 2014: Cruelty Free International welcomes introduction of the Humane Cosmetics Act by US Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) and hosts the first Congressional briefing on the bill.
June 2014: the California legislature passes the Cruelty Free Cosmetics Resolution (sponsored by Cruelty Free International) urging Congress to phase out the sale of animal-tested cosmetics.
June 2015: Cruelty Free International welcomes the return of the Humane Cosmetics Act under new bi-partisan leadership from U.S. Representatives Martha McSally (R -AZ), Don Beyer (D-VA), Joe Heck (R -NV) and Tony Cardenas (D-CA) and co-hosts the congressional briefing on the bill.
February 2016: the New York Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act is introduced for the first time by Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and backed by Cruelty Free International.
February 2018: the Hawaii Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act is introduced by Senator Mike Gabbard with backing from Cruelty Free International.
April 2018: Virginia mandated alternatives bill signed into law. The bill, introduced by Delegate Jennifer Boysko and sponsored by Cruelty Free International, requires the use of alternatives to animals for testing cosmetics and household products whenever they are available.
September 2018: The California Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act, introduced by Senator Cathleen Galgiani with support from Cruelty Free International and others, is signed into law with an effective date of January 2020.
June 2019: the Nevada Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act introduced by Senator Melanie Scheible and backed by Cruelty Free International, is signed into law with an effective date of January 2020.
August 2019: the Illinois Humane Cosmetics bill. introduced by State Senator Linda Holmes and supported by Cruelty Free International and the Animal Welfare Institute. is signed into law with an effective date of January 2020.
November 2019: the new Humane Cosmetics Act is introduced in the US Senate and House by a bipartisan group of legislators including Senator Cory Booker and Representative Don Beyer with support from Cruelty Free International, the Personal Care Products Council and others.
January 1, 2020: Cruelty Free Cosmetics laws come into effect in California, Nevada and Illinois.
April 2021: Cruelty Free International welcomes the re-introduction of the New York Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act sponsored by Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) and Senator Alessandra Biaggi.
March-June 2021: Cruelty Free Cosmetics laws pass in Virginia, Maryland, Hawaii, and Maine.