PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – A new Virginia law coming in 2022 bans cosmetic testing on animals. So will your cosmetics bag need a makeover in the new year?
The short answer is no. Animal rights advocates say the new legislation is a great step, however, the everyday consumer won’t see too many changes because of it. Instead, manufacturers will.
“Society has moved to a point where we all agree that animals should not be used for testing, and especially not used for testing something like cosmetics,” said Monica Engebretson, with Cruelty Free International. The group, which is based in London, helped get the Virginia Humane Cosmetics Bill signed into law.
Engebretson describes it as a bill that looks to the future.
“No products are being pulled off the shelf that were tested in the past, it’s moving forward,” she said.
That means that if an old product was tested on animals, it can still be sold in stores. However, if there’s a new product that companies are trying to get out there, it can no longer be tested on animals and sold in Virginia.
“Moving forward, the safety tests will have to utilize the modern alternatives that don’t use animals,” added Engebretson.
She says the responsibility to make the changes falls on the manufacturers, who are actually on board with the legislation.
In fact, the Personal Care Products Council, which represents roughly 90% of the U.S. beauty industry, is working with the Humane Society of the U.S. to pass this legislation on the federal level. In a statement, the group said:
Our precedent-setting support brings together the cosmetics and personal care products industry and animal advocacy community. We stand firm in our shared goal to eliminate new cosmetic animal testing and promote recognition and acceptance of non-animal approaches to cosmetic safety assessments.
We applaud these members of Congress for driving a significant bipartisan effort to introduce the Humane Cosmetics Act. Consensus among a diverse group of stakeholders demonstrates widespread support for legislation that ensures a uniform standard for animal welfare and the development of safe and innovative cosmetics and personal care products.
We look forward to working with this bipartisan group of Congressional leaders and other key stakeholders to help enact the Humane Cosmetics Act in this Congress to eliminate animal testing for cosmetics, while also ensuring the safety of the products consumers trust and rely on every day.Personal Care Products Council
Engebretson says the movement on this issue, both on the state and federal level, is encouraging.
“The more states that adopt this legislation and Virginia being one of the first has really helped push forward the federal legislation that we’re hoping, because what we really do need is a harmonized law across the U.S.,” said Engebretson.
Engebretson says there will be a six-month grace period for manufacturers. Virginia will be one of eight states to have this law.
You can read more about the bill in the U.S. Senate by clicking here.