A bill in the Oregon Legislature would make it illegal for cosmetic companies to sell lipstick, creams, and other beauty products tested on animals. It might soon be against the law in Oregon to put lipstick on a pig and then sell it.
Lawmakers in one state are thinking about putting a stop to the sale of cosmetics that were made or tested on animals.
The bill would make it illegal for a company to sell cosmetics made or developed using animal tests on or after January 1, 2024. People who broke the law could be fined up to $5,000 on the first day and $1,000 every day after that. A committee vote on the bill is set for March 30.
In the past, the cosmetics industry used animal tests to determine if a product was safe for humans. However, major companies are now stopping this practice, saying that animal tests are not reliable or necessary.
Aveda, LUSH, Bath & Body Works, Tom’s of Maine, Alba Botanica, and The Body Shop are all well-known brands that no longer use animal tests.
Carleen Pickard, who works for Lush Cosmetics and is in charge of advocacy and activism, said in written testimony, “We have always thought that testing cosmetics on animals is an old-fashioned idea that doesn’t work for today.”
The company, based in Canada, has five stores in Oregon.
“Sections of the cosmetics industry, and the scientists that service them, are wedded to this outdated practice despite overwhelming public opinion and consumer desire for cruelty-free products,” Pickard said.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration oversees how safe cosmetics are and how they are labeled. This includes moisturizers, perfumes, nail polish, eye and face makeup, and lipstick. The government agency lets cosmetics companies test on animals, but they aren’t required to.
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Critics of the practice include people who care about animals and make cosmetics.
“In traditional animal tests, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats have substances forced down their throats, dripped into their eyes, or smeared onto their skin before they are killed,” Vicki Katrinak, director of animal research and testing for the Humane Society, wrote in a letter to lawmakers.
“These test methods are unreliable predictors of human safety. Different species can respond differently when exposed to the same chemicals. Consequently, animal tests may under- or over-estimate real-world hazards to people. In addition, results from animal tests can be quite variable and difficult to interpret.”
Under the bill, there would be some exceptions, such as if the film was made before the law went into effect. This means that stores could still sell everything on their shelves. Animal tests could also be done if necessary for a health issue.
In 2018, California became the first state to ban the sale of cosmetics tested on animals. The Humane Society says that as of now, ten states, including Nevada, have passed bans.