Hawaii Becomes the Sixth US State to Ban Cosmetic Animal Testing
Hawaii is following in the examples of several US states which have taken legislative action against cosmetic animal testing. The Hawaii Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act [HCFCA] will be enacted into law once signed by Governor David Ige after passing its final vote in the state’s legislature. The act will prevent any animals from undergoing unfair and experimental trials for beauty products. The HCFCA will ban the sale of new products tested on animals starting on January 1, 2022.
Senator Mike Gabbard [D-HI] initially introduced the bill in 2018 and has repeatedly attempted to push the bill through its state’s legislature in the years since. This year, Gabbard was joined by House Representative Della Au Bellati.
“People in Hawaii and across the nation care about animals and are increasingly looking for cosmetic products that are cruelty-free,” Gabbard said. “By moving forward with this legislation, we are doing the right thing without sacrificing the necessary product testing needed to protect human health.”
Hawaii Follows California and Four Other States in Banning Animal Testing
Hawaii’s move to ban cosmetic animal testing follows California, Nevada, Illinois, Virginia, and Maryland. California started the campaign to prohibit animal-tested cosmetics when it passed the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act. The bill was sponsored by Cruelty-Free International [CFI], which has since praised Hawaii’s move to cut the manufacturing and sale of animal-tested beauty products.
“Non-animal testing methods are more effective, humane, and human-relevant,” CFI’s Head of Public Affairs in North America Monica Engebretson. “Not only do companies have modern tests at their disposal, they also have thousands of existing cosmetic ingredients with histories of safe use and existing safety data that can be used without more tests. Hundred of successful cosmetics companies of all sizes now rely on non-animal testing methods.”
Following California’s legislation, Nevada and Illinois passed similar limitations that were all enacted on January 1, 2020, and Virginia and Maryland’s legislation will go into effect on January 1, 2022. Similar bans continue to gain momentum as additional states including New Jersey, Rhode Island, Oregon, and New York considering legislature against cosmetic animal testing. The CFI also has continued to be vocal about the benefits that this manufacturing ban has on the market and the products.
Nationwide consumers and politicians have realized the importance of the bans. In 2019, Senator Cory Booker [D-NJ] introduced the Humane Cosmetics Act that is attempting to ban cosmetic animal testing nationwide. The ban goes as far as stopping the import of animal-tested products internationally. The act has gained significant support with 900 companies backing the new federal ban.
“Our success in ending animal tests in other countries and states proves that positive change is possible and creates momentum for passage of the federal Humane Cosmetics Act,” Engebretson said.
Consumer demand for cruelty-free beauty has also spiked over the last decade: A research firm MarketGlass projects that the global vegan cosmetics market will surpass $21 billion by 2027. With states quickly moving towards a cruelty-free model, the United States could see a nationwide ban that will shift the cosmetic market to be more compassionate for years to come.