Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal Announces Signing of Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Legislation

New York, NY - Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) announced today that her legislation (A.5653), the New York Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, has been signed into law. The law will prohibit the manufacture and sale of cosmetics in New York State that have been tested on animals, beginning in January 2023.

“For decades, helpless animals have been subjected to cruel and painful experiments simply for the creation of cosmetic products,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “At the same time, research methods have evolved, rendering unnecessary the requirement that animals undergo inhumane tests to help companies create a new mascara or shampoo. In 2008, I passed a law prohibiting the use of cruel animal testing methods in cases where an alternative was available. The Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act is the final step in ensuring that New York State is free of cosmetics tested on animals for our own vanity. "

Around the globe, more than 500,000 small animals, including mice, rabbits, and guinea pigs are used in experiments each year to evaluate cosmetic product ingredients. These tests often involve applying chemicals and ingredients to an animals' skin or in their eyes, or in some cases, even force-feeding chemicals to an animal to observe the internal reaction. These tests regularly result in swelling, burns, lesions, ulcers, blindness and even death for the animals involved. With the development of new, humane testing methods, including computer-based and in vitro methods, companies can obtain the same data without the use of animals.

A 2015 Nielsen survey found that “not tested on animals” was the most important packaging claim for consumers when purchasing a cosmetic product. As consumer demand for cruelty free products has grown, many large companies have transitioned away from animal testing, including Dove, Herbal Essences, Smashbox and Aveda. 

The signing of this legislation makes New York State the tenth in the nation to ban the manufacture and sale of cosmetics tested on animals, following California, Nevada, Illinois, Hawaii, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, Virginia, and Louisiana. 

“The old adage that ‘beauty is pain’ should never have applied to animals,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “Science no longer supports the idea that animals must be abused to create cosmetic products and I'm thrilled that New York State has now joined nine other states and more than 40 countries in outlawing this shameful practice."

“We are thrilled that the New York Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act has been signed into law. U.S. history has shown that state activity leads to changes at the federal level. Because of New York’s association with the fashion and beauty industries, passing the New York Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act could be the tipping point that leads to the passage of a federal Humane Cosmetics Act,” said Monica Engebretson, Head of Public Affairs North America for Cruelty Free International.


Edita Birnkrant, Executive Director of NYCLASS said, "NYCLASS is thrilled that the Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act was signed into law by Governor Hochul.We are very proud that New York has become the ninth state in the nation to prohibit the sale of cosmetics cruelly tested on animals.The barbaric, unnecessary tests conducted on rabbits, guinea pigs and mice have no place in the 21st Century while humane testing alternatives exist. We applaud NY Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal for taking this bill over the finish line and for ensuring that New York becomes a more compassionate state for all."

“A.5653 will ensure that cosmetics cruelly tested on animals are no longer sold or manufactured in the state of New York," says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. " With the existence of humane alternatives to animal testing and an ever-growing consumer awareness of the plight of research animals, we are glad to see lawmakers and industry alike are moving away from painful and unnecessary tests on animals."