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The US State of Louisiana has partially banned the use of animals to test new cosmetics. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed on 18th June 2022 the Act 712, making it illegal to sell new cosmetics that have been tested on animals (unless the tests were done under certain exemptions). The new law, which was presented by Representative Barbara Reich Freiberg, will come into effect in August 2022. It prohibits the sale of cosmetics that were developed using animal testing, if the testing was done by the manufacturer, any supplier of the manufacturer, or any person or business hired or contracted by the manufacturer, unless it is covered by a long list of exemptions.

This state now joins California, Nevada, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland, Maine, Hawaii, and New Jersey, which have already partially banned this cruel and unnecessary practice. In 2018, California became the first state to enact a ban on the sale of animal-tested cosmetics, and New York may be the next state to do so. More than 40 countries have passed laws that prohibit or severely restrict animal testing for cosmetics. The EU banned it as far as 2013, and the UK in 1998. Recently, Mexico became the first North American country to ban testing cosmetics on animals.

But so far, the US has failed to ban this at a federal level. The Humane Cosmetics Act 2021 could have been the legislation that did this, but it has been watered down and it now has many exemptions that would allow the test to continue. This is also the case of the Louisiana new law, which lists the following exemptions: 

(1) Cosmetic animal testing conducted outside of the United States as required by a foreign regulatory authority, provided that no evidence derived from the testing was relied upon to substantiate the safety of the cosmetic ingredient or cosmetic product being sold by the manufacturer in this state.

(2) Cosmetic animal testing conducted for any cosmetic or cosmetic ingredient subject to regulation under 21 USC 351 et seq.

(3) Cosmetic animal testing conducted for a cosmetic ingredient intended to be used in a product that is not a cosmetic product and conducted pursuant to a requirement of a federal, state, or foreign regulatory authority, provided that no evidence derived from the testing was relied upon to the safety of a cosmetic sold in this state by a cosmetics manufacturer, unless all of the following apply:

(a) There is no nonanimal alternative method or strategy recognized by any federal or state agency or the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development for the relevant safety endpoints for the cosmetic ingredient or nonfunctional constituent.

(b) There is documented evidence of the noncosmetic intent of the test.

(c) There is a history of use of the ingredient outside of cosmetics at least twelve months prior to reliance.

(4) Cosmetic animal testing requested, required, or conducted by a federal or state regulatory authority if all of the following apply:

(a) There is no nonanimal alternative method or strategy recognized by any federal or state agency or the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development for the relevant safety endpoints for the cosmetic ingredient or nonfunctional constituent.

(b) The cosmetic ingredient or nonfunctional constituent poses a risk of causing a specific substantiated human health problem and the need to conduct cosmetics animal testing is justified and supported by a detailed research protocol proposed as the basis for the evaluation of the cosmetics ingredient or nonfunctional constituent.

(c) The cosmetic ingredient or nonfunctional constituent is in wide use and, in the case of a cosmetic ingredient, cannot be replaced by another cosmetic ingredient capable of performing a similar function.

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