Yesterday, Gov. Phil Murphy, D-NJ, signed legislation to end the sale of cosmetics in New Jersey that have been newly tested on animals, preventing the cruel and unnecessary use of rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats in cosmetics safety assessments.
Animals used in cosmetics testing suffer through painful tests. Rabbits have chemicals rubbed onto their shaved skin or dripped into their eyes and are observed for signs of irritation such as redness, bleeding, and ulcers. Guinea pigs and mice have substances injected under their skin or smeared onto their ears to evaluate allergic responses. Rats are forced to ingest large amounts of chemicals to determine the “lethal dose” that eventually causes death. Pain relief is rarely provided and the animals are killed at the end of these tests.
State Senator Joseph Lagana, D-Paramus, and State Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli, D-Trenton, were the primary sponsors of the legislation, which passed unanimously in both the New Jersey State Senate and Assembly with an extensive list of bipartisan cosponsors.
“In the passage of this law, New Jersey has recognized overwhelming public opinion that animals should not suffer to test cosmetic products or ingredients,” said Vicki Katrinak, director of Animal Research and Testing for the Humane Society of the United States. “With a growing number of non-animal test methods available, there is no ethical justification to continue harming animals for the sake of shampoo, mascara, or aftershave. Thank you to Assemblyman Verrelli and Senator Lagana for their leadership on this bill and Governor Murphy for signing this important bipartisan legislation.”
New Jersey is now the eighth state in the country, and the fifth this year, to pass a law to ban the sale of animal-tested cosmetics following California, Nevada, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland, Maine and Hawaii.
The use of animals to test cosmetics is not only inhumane, but completely unnecessary. Cosmetics companies can already create new and innovative products using thousands of existing ingredients that do not require any additional testing. In addition, outdated animal tests are being replaced with an increasing number of modern testing methods, such as human cell-based tests and sophisticated computer models. These non-animal technologies are often faster, less expensive and more reliable predictors of human safety.
There is strong corporate support for ending cosmetics animal testing. Several companies selling or manufacturing cosmetics in New Jersey signed on in support of this legislation including Lush, The Herbs and the Bees, and US Organic Group, joining nearly 1,000 other brands and companies supporting federal humane cosmetics legislation.