California’s Senate this week approved a measure by State Senator Marty Block (SD-39) that urges the U.S to join California, the European Union (EU), and the countries of Norway, India, and Israel in banning animal testing of cosmetic products.
Block’s joint resolution, SJR 22, approved on a bipartisan vote of 31-0, urges the federal government to mandate alternative methods to animal testing when other testing methods are available. It is sponsored by Cruelty Free International and also supported by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the State Humane Association and others.
“Unnecessary cruelty is unforgiveable,” Block said. “Animal testing by the cosmetics industry is usually unnecessary and often unreliable. Where other means of ensuring product safety are available, they should be used.”
“Cruel” tests on rabbits, guinea pigs and mice include force-feeding of animals with testing substances or repeated application of substances to an animal’s skin. After the experiments, the animals are then killed. Block and Cruelty Free International argue that more reliable, quicker, and less expensive alternatives are available and should be used. Alternatives include computer modeling and tests on human skin donated from cosmetic surgery or examination of proteins in-vitro (in a test tube).
Actress Mayim Bialik – who portrays Amy Farrah Fowler on the hit show “The Big Bang Theory” – is a Cruelty Free International supporter. “I am thrilled to join Senator Marty Block in asking the California Legislature to support SJR 22, the Cruelty Free Cosmetics Resolution.”
She added, “For over a decade California has been a leader in supporting the use of modern non-animal tests to ensure cosmetics safety. It’s time that the rest of the nation catches up with California as well as other counties on this issue. I am proud to stand with Senator Block in calling for cruelty free testing.”
North America Campaign Manager for Cruelty Free International Monica Engebretson also emphasized that product safety is possible without the use of the older, more inhumane testing. “Our success in ending cosmetics testing on animals in the European Union has proven that it is possible and safe to create cosmetics without animal testing,” Engebretson said.
California became the first state to restrict animal testing in 2000. Some countries such as those in the EU have completely banned the importation and sale of animal-tested products. EU sales account for nearly half of the global cosmetics market.
SJR 22 also calls on the U.S. Congress to enact legislation that would establish reasonable deadlines for the prohibition on the testing and marketing of products which have been tested on animals.