Rebecca Hamilton is co-CEO of WS Badger Company in Gilsum.
The Chamber’s Commerce Commission will soon determine the fate of the animal-tested cosmetics legislation introduced in the New Hampshire Senate earlier this year.
SB 202, which would end the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in the state, has garnered overwhelming support in the Senate and for good reason. It has the support of New Hampshire businesses and other stakeholders who understand the importance of a brilliant standard on a topic involving human safety, animal welfare and smart business practices.
There is no shortage of companies supporting such legislation as the number of companies that have sworn to forgo new animal testing continues to rise. More than 1,000 cosmetic brands selling products including hair care, fragrances, makeup and deodorants in New Hampshire and other states have already pledged not to test their final formulations or ingredients using animals.
They have used ingredients and formulations whose safety is already well established and employ state-of-the-art non-animal methods that offer clear advantages over conventional animal testing.
Badger is one of those companies that have been producing cruelty-free organic skin care products locally in New Hampshire since 1995. The list of other New Hampshire companies that support SB 202 also includes Hemlock Springs Soaps (Nashua), Portsmouth Soap Company (Portsmouth), The Petrol Station (Portsmouth) and Lush (Nashua and Salem).
It is also worth noting that the Personal Care Products Council, the national trade association representing 90% of the U.S. cosmetics industry, supports similar federal legislation, which would ban animal testing for any cosmetic product manufactured or sold in the U.S. . SB 202 was specially drafted to align with the provisions of the Humane Cosmetics Act (S 3357 / HR 6207), now pending in the United States Congress.
The fact that so many companies are willing to support the abandonment of animal testing for cosmetics speaks volumes. Companies can continue to formulate new and innovative products using thousands of ingredients with a long history of safe use and require no additional testing. Using existing ingredients is how most cosmetic companies have been able to deliver on their commitment to avoid new animal testing for their products.
Cosmetic companies have also been at the forefront of adopting state-of-the-art testing methods that can replace traditional animal testing. They recognize not only the substantial consumer demand for products developed without animal testing, but also the great benefits of ensuring consumer safety through other means.
Among other benefits, non-animal approaches based on human biology produce results that are more relevant to the safety of the people for whom the products are designed. These methods are often less expensive and can be completed more quickly than traditional animal tests.
That’s why the continued shift to safety assessments of pet-free cosmetics will benefit consumers, businesses and animals. With strong industry engagement helping push these bills to the finish, eight states, including Maine, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia, have already passed laws to end animal testing for cosmetics.
Internationally, 41 countries have passed laws to end or limit animal testing of cosmetics. The list includes India, New Zealand, South Korea, Guatemala, Australia, Mexico and all the countries of the European Union.
There is no reason for guinea pigs, rabbits, mice and rats to undergo new painful chemical tests for cosmetic products like shampoo and mascara. Representatives from New Hampshire now have a chance to do their part and put our state squarely behind the growing momentum towards cruelty-free testing methods.
Their swift approval of SB 202 will help accelerate the nation’s complete transition from cruel and inaccurate animal testing to more human-relevant approaches and strengthen the ever-advancing regulatory alignment that the cosmetics industry seeks.