This week, the California Legislature with overwhelming bi-partisan support passed Senate Joint Resolution 22, titled the Cruelty Free Cosmetics Resolution. It was approved on a vote of 31-0 in the Senate and a vote of 64- 0 in the Assembly.
The resolution, sponsored by Cruelty Free International, and authored by Senator Marty Block (D-San Diego) asks the California legislature to send a message to the US Congress and the President to adopt uniform restrictions on animal testing of cosmetics. Specifically it urges the federal government to mandate alternative methods to animal testing, whenever scientifically satisfactory methods are available. The measure also calls on the United States Congress to enact legislation that would establish reasonable deadlines for the prohibition of the testing and marketing of cosmetic products that have been tested on animals.
In the absence of action at the federal level, the California legislature has long been a leader on this issue.
Twice the California legislature voted to ban the use of the Draize eye and skin irritancy tests in 1989 and 1990 however the measures were vetoed by the Governor of that time. Then in 2000, California successfully became the first state in the nation to pass a “mandated alternative law” which prohibited manufacturers and contract testing facilities from using animal test methods when an appropriate scientifically validated non-animal test was available. New Jersey and New York followed California’s lead in 2007 and 2008 respectively with similar “mandated alternative” laws. So far, these are the only states to take such action.