ANNAPOLIS — The first part of a new Maryland law barring animal testing in the production of cosmetics went into effect at the start of the new year.
The bills – Senate Bill 282 and House Bill 611 – prohibit manufacturers from selling cosmetics if the company “knows or reasonably should have known” that any part of a product was tested on animals after Jan. 1, 2022.
According to the language of the bill, manufacturers will no longer be able to sell animal-tested cosmetics after July 1. Companies with animal-tested inventory will either have to sell or dispose of those products by June 30.
“It’s good policy,” said Lisa Radov, president of the Maryland Votes for Animals lobbying group. “We’re very excited about it because it means everyone is moving towards a more humane model.”
“Somebody needs to be their voice,” said Kathy Trotter of Stevensville. A board member on both the Queen Anne’s County Animal Control Commission and Maryland Votes for Animals, Trotter and her husband, Don, work at local and state levels of government to advocate for animals.
“Animals have been mistreated for so many years,” she added. “And now, I would say, people are becoming more educated on animal rights and standing up for them, just like our environment.”
Passing the cosmetics bills last Spring, Maryland was the fifth state to green light this kind of legislation. As of Jan. 1, when similar laws in Virginia and Hawaii also went into effect, seven states had passed versions of the bill: California, Illinois, Nevada, and Maine. New Jersey will join that list in March.
“This is another step forward,” Trotter said. “We’re very proud that we were the fifth in the country to pass it, which shows that Maryland is becoming a more humane leader in the United States.”
Cruelty Free International, an animal protection organization, specifically credited the law’s passing in Maryland to Sen. Clarence Lam (D-Baltimore, Howard), who first introduced the bill in 2019. Delegate Terri Hill (D-Baltimore, Howard) introduced the bill to the House of Delegates.
“New generations of shoppers are growing up conscious of the way products impact people animals, the environment, and the world around them, and their choices are influenced by moral and ethical considerations,” Lam said in a press release. “My bill gives Maryland consumers the assurance they want that the cosmetics they are buying were not produced at the expense of animal suffering.”
Versions of the bill, the Humane Cosmetics Act of 2021, were introduced to both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 9.
Radov called Maryland’s newly enacted policy “wonderful” because it adds momentum to the federal effort.
The Senate’s version of the bill has been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and the House’s was sent to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.