The European Union ban on the import and sale of cosmetics containing ingredients tested on animals in conjunction with Israel’s recent ban on the sale and import of cosmetics and cleaning materials tested on animals are milestones for the humane treatment of animals, role models for innovative forward-thinking and research, and will set a precedent for cruelty-free living worldwide.
Pascaline Clerc, Senior Director of Animal Research Issues at the Humane Society of the United States, fully comprehends the process, progress, completion, and success of the European Union ban on cosmetics containing ingredients tested on animals. “Europeans are much more engaged in the animal welfare and rights movements,” Pascaline says. “Activists have been working on the cosmetic animal testing issue for quite a long time.”
As a scientist, Pascaline is poised to help bridge the gap between the scientific world and the animal world in ending the use of animal testing on cosmetic and personal care products in the United States. “Although there is no requirement to test cosmetics on animals in the United States,” Pascaline says, “many companies do not want to end cosmetic animal testing.”
Pascaline’s unique scientific background provides a clear knowledge and understanding of the resistant scientific position, which enables her to create supportive relationships with scientists.
“Working with the Humane Society of the United States is right up my alley,” says Pascaline, “Animal testing is outdated. Cosmetic and personal care product testing without animals is the future of research.”
Cosmetics are defined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “articles intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body's structure or functions."
Excluding soap, examples of cosmetics include many grooming products for men and women, like shaving cream, aftershave, lipstick, mascara, and perfume.
“Animal testing results do not reliably predict the safety of cosmetic products,” Pascaline states. “Innovative alternatives such as artificial skin tests and computer models are cheaper, relevant to human use, and safer.”
“The American public is highly aware that companies perform animal testing,” Pascaline says referring to the newly released Human Society of the United States public opinion poll, “and consumers are ready for change.”
According to the poll conducted by Lake Research Partners, sixty-eight percent of respondents know that animals are used to test the safety of cosmetic and personal care products; sixty-seven percent of Americans oppose cosmetic animal testing.
“The poll results indicate a need to continue educating the public, particularly men, about animal testing and the use of cruelty-free products,” Pascaline says. “Regardless of age, education, or ethnicity, a high percentage of women are opposed to animal testing.”
Contrary to popular belief, the poll also reveals that consumers agree that animal testing cosmetic products does not ensure safety; a majority of women would actually feel safer without cosmetic animal testing.
Through our legislative and purchase power, American consumers can end needless animal suffering in research laboratories. We can alter the fate of animals used in cosmetic animal testing experiments by educating ourselves and modifying our shopping habits.
“If you have any doubt about a company and whether animal testing is performed to test their products and ingredients, call or email and ask them explicitly about animal testing,” Pascaline advises. “If your favorite products undergo animal testing procedures, let your voice be heard. Express your opinion.”
There are many reliable brands of verified cruelty-free cosmetic and personal care products available. All the of the products we use on a daily basis can be conscious, compassionate, cruelty-free choices.
“The world is moving forward in its acceptance of cruelty-free living,” Pascaline says. “We don’t want the United States to be left behind.”
- Join the celebrities - Ke$ha, Colbie Caillat, Michael Vartan, Daniella Alonso, Francia Raisa, Torrey DeVitto, Fiona Gubelmann and Joanna Krupa - that support the joint Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International Be Cruelty-Free Campaign. Click here to sign the Humane Society of the United States Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Pledge.
- Click here to download the The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) Compassionate Shopping Guide for iPhone/iPad or Android, request a pocket-sized guide, or print the PDF version.