In March, Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) introduced the Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 4148), legislation prohibiting the use of animals in testing cosmetics and their ingredients, as well as the sale of cosmetic products containing animal tested ingredients. Most recently, 133 companies demonstrated strong cosmetic industry support for the Humane Cosmetics Act by publicly endorsing the bill.
Animal tests have been used to evaluate the safety of cosmetic products and ingredients since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began regulating cosmetics. Such animal test protocols include placing chemical substances in animals’ eyes or on their skin to assess damage, and measuring the toxicity of a chemical by forcing animals to ingest or inhale it. These tests are often painful and usually result in the animals being killed at the end of the experiment. Fortunately, the FDA does not require animal testing for cosmetics.
There are many reliable non-animal alternative test methods available, including cell and tissue cultures and sophisticated computer and mathematical models. Companies can also formulate products using the thousands of ingredients already determined to be safe. They also can use a combination of methods to ensure safety, such as employing in vitro tests and/or conducting clinical studies on humans.
In 2004, the European Union (EU) passed a law phasing out the use of animals to test cosmetic products and ingredients, as well as the sale of products containing ingredients subjected to new animal tests. Israel and India passed similar laws in 2007 and 2013 respectively. Even China has recently announced plans to phase out mandatory animal testing of some cosmetic products. If passed, H.R. 4148 would put the U.S. in line with other countries that have taken action to ban the cruel and unnecessary practice of using animals to test cosmetic products like shampoo, lotion, and lipstick.
WHAT YOU CAN DO!
Please contact your U.S. Representative and urge him/her to cosponsor the Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 4148). Tell him/her that using animals to test items like shampoo and lipstick is cruel and unnecessary.
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