It is a sad fact that while the Food and Drug Administration does not require animal testing to prove the safety of cosmetics and personal care products such as lipstick, nail polish, eye and facial make-up, shampoo, skin creams and shaving cream, some cosmetics companies are still testing ingredients and finished products on animals, or purchasing new chemical ingredients from companies that carry out such testing. As a result, animal testing for cosmetics causes tens of thousands of rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats to suffer through painful experiments that often end in death.
Experiments can include skin and eye irritation tests where chemicals are rubbed onto the shaved skin or dripped into the eyes of restrained rabbits without any pain relief. Other tests involve force feeding chemicals for weeks to months, and widely condemned lethal dose tests, in which animals are forced to swallow large amounts of a test chemical to determine the dose that causes death.
While the European Union has became a cruelty-free marketplace by implementing a ban on the sale of cosmetic products tested on animals (see http://www.examiner.com/article/european-union-bans-animal-tested-cosmet...) It should be noted that Israel implemented a similar ban on January 1. In the meantime, however, the United States and Asia have yet to follow suit, despite the fact that the majority of Americans believe that it is cruel and inhumane according to a survey conducted by Lake Research Partners from Feb. 5 - 11, 2013.
The poll, commissioned by The HSUS and HSLF, showed that women (who are the major consumers of cosmetics) largely oppose animal testing of cosmetics, with 72% of those polled in favor of making animal testing of cosmetics should be illegal, regardless of age, level of education or ethnicity.
As a result, The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International Humane Society of the United States aoong with the Humane Society Legislative Fund launched Be Cruelty-Free Week (March 11-15) to encourage scientists, government officials, and industry leaders to make the United States the next biggest cruelty-free market.
“While policy is important, consumers can act now to help animals by purchasing cruelty-free products and demanding that cosmetic companies go cruelty-free,” said Pascaline Clerc, senior director of animal research issues for The HSUS. “As these poll results demonstrate, U.S. companies still conducting tests on animals need to move away from these practices given the public’s concern for animal suffering and human safety.”
Companies can stop animal testing immediately and still produce new products by using the thousands of ingredients that have already been proven safe. New ingredients can be tested using validated non-animal methods, including innovative technologies like lab-made human tissues. These alternatives offer results that are more relevant to people, more efficient and cost-effective, replacing outdated animal tests that were developed decades ago.
The HSUS encourages consumers to sign the Be Cruelty-Free pledge at www.humanesociety.org/becrueltyfree.