On Tuesday, May 10th, the New York State Senate passed my bill (S4839B) to prevent the sale of cosmetics tested on animals in the State of New York. The Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act will cover all manufacturers from importing for profit or sale in the state any cosmetics tested on animals, aligning New York law with eight other states that prohibit animal testing.
For decades consumers and activists alike have demanded that cosmetic companies stop using animals to test cosmetic products – almost 80% of American voters would favor a federal ban on cosmetic animal testing. Many companies responded to consumer demand by eliminating the use of animals for testing. However, multitudes of cosmetic companies subject rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, and dogs to horrifying and painful tests to determine whether chemicals in products can harm a fetus, cause allergic reactions, and if they are dangerous to inhale or ingest. Once animals undergo these tests, they are immediately discarded as though their lives have no value.
Animal testing raises serious concerns by subjecting animals to unnecessary pain and suffering and falling short of ensuring human safety with often misleading conclusions. While protecting the safety of humans by testing cosmetics is important and necessary, there is no reason that it has to be at an animal’s expense. Modern, non-animal based cosmetic testing is far more accurate and follows guidelines established by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) by using organisms like bacteria, tissues and cells from humans as well as sophisticated computer models or chemical methods.
To countless New Yorkers, animals serve as a member of the family providing them with unconditional love and support. No animal should ever face abuse or unsafe conditions –– and this legislation makes it clear that New Yorkers will not tolerate their mistreatment. I extend my deepest gratitude to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal for their partnership to move this bill forward.
State Senator Alessandra Biaggi