An animal testing ban – the first of its kind to be introduced in the U.S. – seeks to ban the intrinsic cruelty of using animals to test cosmetics and beauty products, while at the same time ensuring that current, non-animal tests are developed and used so that product safety is not sacrificed.
According to the Huffington Post on March 5, animal advocacy groups such as Cruelty Free International are cheering the introduction of the Humane Cosmetics Act, authored by U.S. Representative Jim Moran (D-VA).
The landmark legislation, if passed, would end the suffering of millions of animals who are gratuitously tested and killed in the process of ensuring product safety of tens of thousands of beauty products sold here in the U.S.
The Humane Cosmetics Act H.R. 4148 seeks to “phase out cosmetic animal testing and the sale of cosmetics tested on animals.”
The bills states it “shall be unlawful for any entity, whether private or governmental, to conduct or contract for cosmetic animal testing that occurs in the United States and is in or affecting interstate commerce.”
The proposed legislation also makes it “unlawful to sell, offer for sale, or transport in interstate commerce any cosmetic if the final product or any component thereof was developed or manufactured using cosmetic animal testing.”
The bill has a one-year “phase in” date which will allow companies time to comply with the law, should it pass. Violators would be subject to a $10,000 fine.
“The U.S. can and should phase out the use of animals in cosmetic safety testing. Not only are animal-based tests fundamentally inhumane, they also rely on outmoded science that can fail to accurately predict safety for humans,” said Rep. Moran. “This legislation would encourage the use of testing alternatives that are more effective and cheaper to conduct, helping the American cosmetic industry remain the dominant, and humane, leader in the global cosmetics market.”
Even though animal testing is not required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Product Safety Commission in the U.S., and despite the fact that alternatives to animal testing exist, many companies continue to test their products and ingredients on animals. In fact, the FDA leaves it up to companies to substantiate the safety of their own products and recalls are left entirely up to manufacturers.
Many products contain buzz phrases, such as “cruelty-free” or “not tested on animals,” and while that may seem to be providing a guilt-free purchase, those labels can be misleading. Such designations are not technically, or even legally, defined by the Food and Drug Administration or the U.S. Product Safety Commission.
Products that carry such labels may have already been tested on animals by other companies based in other countries. Or the individual ingredients may have been tested at the product development level, though animals were not used to test the final product. The new legislation would close such ambiguous loopholes.
You can help! Per Care2.com:
With the availability of data on thousands of ingredients that have already been proven safe, advances in technology and growing consumer demand for cruelty-free products, there’s no reason for the U.S. to lag behind on this issue. Now our lawmakers need to hear from us.
To find animal-friendly products already on the market, visit gocrueltyfree.org.
If you are in favor of ending animal cruelty, please share this article!