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California’s Ban on Animal-Testing : False or Fiction?

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Oct. 4 2018, Published 10:50 p.m. ET

Just last month, California was being praised for their ban on animal-testing but a couple of days ago, the loopholes have come to light.

It turns out that laws don’t always have the interest of a living being’s actual well-being. Hmm. Who would’ve thought.

Okay, but enough with the cynicism, let’s take a look at Senate Bill 1249. SB-1249 states in the very beginning:

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“Existing law prohibits manufacturers and contract testing facilities from using traditional animal testing methods within this state when an appropriate alternative test method has been scientifically validated and recommended by the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) or other specified agencies.”

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“Existing law prohibits manufacturers and contract testing facilities from using traditional animal testing methods within this state when an appropriate alternative test method has been scientifically validated and recommended by the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) or other specified agencies.”

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I’m going to need some help with understanding this part because it seems as though the American public first has to define exactly what animal-testing is and group it into what is “traditional”, “alternative” and “scientifically validated.” This is problematic for obvious reasons. When there isn’t even direct clarification on a ban, the ban was made to be loop-holed. In short, it’s just there to make it appear as though there is some sort of empathy.

Quartzy, linked above, goes much more in-depth with those loopholes in their analysis of this law. Author Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz writes:

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“[…] companies can continue to fund animal testing for products and ingredients sold in countries where such testing measures are required by law. As such, manufacturers can also keep selling those animal-tested products in California, as long as they only funded those animal tests in order to be compliant with foreign regulations. China, the world’s largest economy and a huge market for American beauty products, might be the biggest influence in this regard.  The country is beginning to move away from animal testing, but currently still requires animal testing on all imported cosmetics. This means that companies selling cosmetics in China—including US-based conglomerates like Estée Lauder and Coty—will most likely continue funding animal tests.”

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“[…] companies can continue to fund animal testing for products and ingredients sold in countries where such testing measures are required by law. As such, manufacturers can also keep selling those animal-tested products in California, as long as they only funded those animal tests in order to be compliant with foreign regulations. China, the world’s largest economy and a huge market for American beauty products, might be the biggest influence in this regard.  The country is beginning to move away from animal testing, but currently still requires animal testing on all imported cosmetics. This means that companies selling cosmetics in China—including US-based conglomerates like Estée Lauder and Coty—will most likely continue funding animal tests.”

She continues:

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“[…] the existing restrictions leave companies generous room to make a case for continuing animal testing, which is perhaps why the legislation was comfortably endorsed by 100 cosmetics companies after amendments were added to an earlier and stricter version of the law.”

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“[…] the existing restrictions leave companies generous room to make a case for continuing animal testing, which is perhaps why the legislation was comfortably endorsed by 100 cosmetics companies after amendments were added to an earlier and stricter version of the law.”

Not only is this a commendable reading and summarization of this law for those of us who are unfamiliar with legal jargon, but it’s especially important because many of us have shared these articles truly believing that the path towards ending animal-testing was being cleared.

This is also a great example of how someone else’s knowledge on a subject can help our own as we continue learning that big-name companies are in it for your money, regardless of who or what is being hurt or killed.

In a dark turn of events we’re forced to sit back and wonder “why don’t they really care about the suffering of these animals for the continued investment driven from a woman’s insecurities?”

For a little less cynicism, we’re reminded that the power lies in the hands of the majority.

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