Doctors denounce US Senate plan to strike down cruelty-free cosmetics laws

WASHINGTON—If passed by the U.S. Senate, a dangerous provision included in S.4348, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Landmark Advancements Act (FDASLA), will have a far-reaching and devastating impact on animals protected by laws in eight states which prohibit the sale of cosmetics tested on animals.

“If Congress passes this provision, painful and unnecessary animal testing in the cosmetics industry will continue without limits, and states will be prohibited from banning such testing in the future,” says Kristie Sullivan, MPH, vice -president of research policy for physicians. Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit organization of more than 17,000 physicians. The Physicians Committee was a co-sponsor of the first such state law, the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, signed into law in 2018.

Second. 802 of the FDASLA includes “Sec. 614. Pre-emption. Second. 614 would override state laws like the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act and others. The California law, which banned the sale of cosmetics tested on animals, and similar laws in effect in seven other states, would be repealed and invalidated. The provision under consideration in the Senate would bar California and other states from enforcing their existing laws regarding cosmetics and would also bar the passage of future laws.

Cruelty-free cosmetic laws support modern and reliable cosmetic safety testing, while protecting animals from unnecessary suffering. Several public opinion polls show that American consumers support an end to animal testing for cosmetics, and a 2015 Nielsen poll found that “not tested on animals” was the most important packaging claim for respondents from all age groups.

“As we work to modernize safety testing around the world, this provision alone would undo years of progress and have a devastating impact on thousands of animals who will experience unnecessary cruelty,” Sullivan said.

The FDASLA progressed before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on June 14 and may soon be considered by the full Senate. Physicians’ Committee calls on US Senate to withdraw Sec. 614 prior to final FDASLA review.

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