We are all watching and waiting for animal testing to be banned in the United States. I think we are so far behind, and the United States must catch up with the nearly 40 other countries (including the EU) that have banned them. These bans are not without gaps, but they have made a difference. We are making progress year after year and it is time for the US to ban all animal testing for cosmetics.
What is the Humane Cosmetics Act?
The Humane Cosmetics Act prohibits new animal testing of cosmetics and their ingredients and prohibits the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals in the United States. (Read more from the Personal Care Products Council here.) It's not without gaps:
• • Prohibits animal testing and prohibits the use of animal testing evidence to determine the safety of a cosmetic or cosmetic ingredient unless there is no alternative method or strategy for non-animals used by a federal agency or the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development for the EU Relevant safety endpoints were recognized and other very strict criteria are met.
• • Calls on the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to promote scientific progress in this area.
• • Forbids cosmetic manufacturers from including “cruelty-free” information in their packaging when animal testing data has been used to determine the safety of the product or any of its ingredients.
• • Creates a national uniform standard for animal protection.
Would our products be safe without animal testing?
Absolutely. There are differences between the species, so many of the animal experiments do not even apply to humans. This is an older article, but it explains some of the alternative tests that can be used for the safety of cosmetics. PETA also has a detailed article on animal testing alternatives here.
The Humane Cosmetics Act was first introduced in 2014. In 2019, it reached the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. Sorry that it's moving so slowly, I know. But there will be more support from brands pushing for change. If you want to do more, you can easily send a message to your legislator here:
Please take action for animals:
Send a letter to your representative asking them to sponsor the United States Humane Society bill
Humane Society update
The following comes from a press release from the Humane Society of the United States:
This week we reached an important milestone: 300 independent companies that now officially approve the Humane Cosmetics Act, and almost 600 member companies of the Personal Care Products Council, which also supports the law. The measure would end animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients in the United States and ban the import of cosmetics that have been tested on animals worldwide. Most of the comments come from small companies that already demonstrate that high-quality cosmetics can be formulated without animal testing. The list also includes industry heavyweights such as Unilever and P & G as well as well-known brands such as H & M and LUSH.
Kitty Block, CEO and President of the Humane Society of the United States, and Sara Amundson, President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, wrote today on their shared blog:
“Cosmetics companies can choose from thousands of ingredients that have long been safely used to cruelly produce new and innovative products. With new ingredients, animal testing is increasingly being replaced by non-animal methods, which are often faster, cheaper and more reliable as predictors of human toxicity. However, there is a more fundamental reason to replace traditional animal testing for cosmetic products like shampoo and mascara – the enormous suffering they cause when rabbits, mice, rats and guinea pigs have substances that are pressed differently in the throat, dripped or smeared in the eyes become their skin. They often suffer for days without pain relief. "
Cosmetics companies are already required to comply with laws in California, Nevada and Illinois that prohibit the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals. Almost 40 nations, including the member states of the European Union, Australia, Guatemala, India, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan and Turkey, have also passed laws that prohibit or restrict cosmetic tests on animals, not least thanks to part the efforts of the Humane Society International and its partners worldwide.
This bipartisan law has already been introduced in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Here is a list of companies that support the Humane Cosmetics Act: