Cruelty-free Cosmetics Legislation Gains Momentum In North America
Proposed cruelty-free legislation under consideration in Canada’s House of Commons likely will die on the order paper, but animal-welfare advocates are encouraged by strong parliamentary support shown to the bill. In the US, Nevada recently became the second state after California to ban the sale of animal-tested cosmetics beginning Jan. 1, 2020, and Illinois is next in line.
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The proposed bill in the US Senate could be seen as slightly friendlier to the cosmetics industry when it comes to continued use of animal testing data in limited, exempted contexts, compared with similar state laws enacted of late. But the federal bill includes stiffer penalties, addresses “cruelty free” labeling, and seeks to spur FDA acceptance of alternative test methods, a key objective for stakeholders overall.
NGOs continue to push for a worldwide ban on cosmetics developed at animals’ expense. With cruelty-free cosmetics laws already in place in Europe, California and other major markets around the globe, animal-welfare advocates still see strategic value in driving bans in, say, Nevada.
The Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, S 214, would ban the sale of cosmetics developed with animal testing that’s conducted four years or more after enactment, ostensibly including testing undertaken to comply with foreign regulations. The sole exemption is for animal testing that is Health Canada-authorized.