New Jersey Becomes Eighth State to Ban Cosmetics Animal Testing

by Kate Wells
new jersey cosmetics ban

New Jersey legislators, corporations and citizens alike have aligned themselves to ban the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals. The legislation aims to prevent the cruel and unnecessary use of animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats that are often subjects in cosmetic safety assessments.

The Bill

State Sen. Joseph Lagana, D-Paramus and State Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli, D-Trenton, sponsored the legislation that received unanimous votes both in New Jersey’s State Senate and Assembly allowing Gov. Phil Murphy to sign the bill into law Monday. 

The Bill is set to take effect March 1, 2022. It will effectively ban New Jersey manufacturers from selling cosmetics that were developed or manufactured using animal testing on or after Jan. 1, 2022.

There will be no exceptions to the bill. However, there are special circumstances in which animal testing may be justified by the state. These include testing that is required by a federal or state regulator, situations where an ingredient is widely-used and irreplaceable, if there is a human health problem associated with an ingredient, or if there is no alternative way to test the product.

“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.

Why now?

Before the enactment of this legislation, animals used in cosmetic tests would be subject to harmful chemicals and substances in search of irritants that may affect humans. Rabbits were subject to chemicals rubbed into their skin while guinea pigs and mice would have substances injected under their skin. Likewise, rats would be used to determine toxicity levels, often dying while undergoing these tests. 

All animals would then be killed after testing was completed. 

In a statement provided by Gov. Phil Murphy, the administration said the use of animals to test cosmetics is not only inhumane but completely unnecessary. They also cited that as technology expands, there are plenty of advanced ways to complete this testing without harming animals in the process.

Corporate responsibility

Corporations are also in the process of shifting their practices–supporting legislation to denounce animal testing for cosmetic purposes. Multiple companies in New Jersey that sell and manufacture cosmetics signed on in support of this legislation. Lush, The Herbs and the Bees and the U.S. Organic group are joining along with thousands of other brands and companies to support federal humane cosmetics legislation.

The only other states that have enacted similar legislation are California, Nevada, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland, Maine and Hawaii. New Jersey is the fifth state to do so this year paving the way for further progress across the country. 

Main image by Trnava University 

About the Author/s

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Kate is a senior at Louisiana State University studying mass communication and political science. Although she moved to Louisiana for college, Kate still lives, eats and breathes everything New Jersey-- especially when it comes to her love of taylor ham egg and cheese, bagels and pizza. She also quite literally took the "jersey girls don't pump gas" with her on her way. Kate found her passion for writing in high school with her various writing courses and having the opportunity to write for her school paper. She took her passion to school with her and hopes to continue writing in her future, always bringing a little taste of New Jersey along the way.

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