The legislation was reintroduced into the U.S. House of Representatives, yesterday, September 12th by Reps. Don Beyer (D-Va.), Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) and Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) as part of a concerted bipartisan effort to completely eliminate the sale of new products that have in any way tested on animals.
The legislation proposes the complete ban of cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients tested on animals that have been produced in the United States or imported from being transported or sold anywhere in the country.
Bringing the US in line with the rest of the world
The Humane Cosmetics Act (S. 3357 / H.R. 6207) means that one year after the bill is enacted any company caught violating the new regulations would be liable to civil penalties under US law and would bring the US in line with over 40 other countries that have already outlawed the practice.
“The Humane Cosmetics Act prohibits animal testing of cosmetics and their ingredients and prohibits the sale in the United States of cosmetics that have been tested on animals,” The PCPC said in an official statement. “This reintroduction builds on the decades’ long effort by industry and stakeholders to promote non-animal alternatives. For nearly four decades, both in the U.S. and globally, our member companies have been instrumental in the movement to develop viable alternative safety assessment methods, and we will continue to work towards this important charge.”
The latest legislation push will mean a renewed emphasis on finding alternative testing non-animal testing methods, something the PCPC has been increasingly involved in. As part of these efforts the organization has been working closely with the International Cooperation on Cosmetic Regulation (ICCR), International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods (ICATM) and the International Collaboration on Cosmetics Safety (ICCS).
The ICCS also includes 40 cosmetics brands, ingredients suppliers and animal rights groups, who are all working together to adopt animal-free safety testing methods for both finished products and ingredients.
Animal rights groups and politicians combine forces
The four House Representatives that are pushing the legislation through Congress have worked in a bipartisan effort to eliminate cosmetics testing on animals, an effort that is expected to receive renewed impetus with official support from the PCPC.
“Cosmetics testing on animals is cruel, unnecessary, and outdated, and Congress should finally put a stop to it,” said Rep. Beyer (D-Va.), “Much of the cosmetics industry has already moved to more scientifically sound methods that do not result in animal cruelty. The Humane Cosmetics Act would outlaw an obsolete and inhumane practice without damaging American businesses. I thank my colleagues for supporting the Humane Cosmetics Act, which I hope will receive swift consideration.”
“Subjecting animals to painful experiments to test cosmetics is inhumane and entirely unnecessary,” said Rep. Buchanan (R-FL), who serves as co-chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus. “Scientific advancements have created viable alternatives to these cruel experiments, while still ensuring that cosmetic products are safe for human use. As countries around the world work to prohibit animal testing in cosmetics, it’s time for the United States to get on board.’’
Animal rights group have also played a big part in helping to push the legislation forward, with Cruelty Free International and the Humane Society being among the biggest proponents. Their efforts have helped to get broad support from brands and ingredients suppliers, as well as getting legislators at both a State and Federal level involved.
In August of this year animal rights group were seen as pivotal to the state of Oregon becoming the 11th State in the US to sign off on legislation to outlaw animal testing practices from January 1st 2024, while three other states Florida, Rhode Island and Washington – debated the legislation but missed the deadline to enact it in 2024.
“Eleven states and 44 countries already slammed the door shut on new animal testing for cosmetics. In fact, the U.S. is essentially the only country in the North America that hasn’t passed legislation to end it.” said Sara Amundson, president of Humane Society Legislative Fund. “We want consumers to be safe. Non-animal tests are faster and more relevant to human health, and that’s why the Personal Care Products Council supports the bill. In this divided Congress, leadership matters and Reps. Beyer, Buchanan, Tonko, Calvert, and Cardenas should be applauded for protecting consumers and animals while promoting good science.”