Last February, here at the Physicians Committee, we had an idea: Why not ban the sale of personal care products that have been tested on animals? To do this, we focused on California and we teamed up with a group called Social Compassion in Legislation and Senator Cathleen Galgiani to introduce a bill called the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, or Senate Bill 1249. Since California is the world’s fifth largest economy, we knew that this bill would have an astounding impact. Cosmetic companies wouldn’t want to create one product for California and another product to be sold everywhere else. And right off the bat, our celebrity friends showed their support. Hey, California, we want to tell you about a once-in-a-generation opportunity that could help save the lives of millions of animals and make some of the products that we use on our bodies safer at the same time. With Alicia Silverstone, Moby, and more appearing in a video that we made to help raise awareness. Recognizable figures like NBA star John Salley, True Blood star Kristin Bauer van Straten, Harley Quinn Smith, actress and author Alicia Silverstone, and activist Maggie Q visited the capitol to meet with legislators, attended rallies, and make statements at hearings for the bill. People like Sia, Emily Deschanel, Alyssa Milano, Mayim Bialik, Jane Velez-Mitchell, and more took to social media to help with the effort. The bill gained co-authors and passionate supporters in the legislature, with Assemblymember Ash Kalra becoming a co-author and champion for the bill. As one of his final acts as governor, Jerry Brown has signed the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act into law. Not only will SB 1249 mean that companies selling personal care products in California can’t test on animals, but they also have to verify their cosmetic products’ safety using nonanimal methods. This will increase the use of nonanimal methods across all types of safety testing. To all of our supporters who made phone calls, sent letters and e-mails, posted to social media, attended rallies, met with their representatives, and talked with their friends and neighbors about this issue: Thank you. We couldn’t have done it without you.
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