Urge Congress to End Cruel Animal Testing for Cosmetics
The Humane Cosmetics Act has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Martha McSally (R-AZ), Don Beyer (D-VA), Joe Heck (R-NV), and Tony Cárdenas (D-CA). This bipartisan bill—H.R. 2858—would phase out the use of animal testing for cosmetics manufactured or sold in the United States.
The Humane Cosmetics Act would ensure that US companies are utilizing the most cutting-edge and cost-effective technologies to produce results most relevant to human health, while ending the often painful tests that millions of animals endure each year. Testing methods like the Draize test—which was developed in the 1940s—involve immobilizing an animal and prying his or her eyelids open so that chemicals can be applied directly to the eyes. In lethal dose toxicity tests, animals are forced to ingest large amounts of a chemical in order to determine what dosage will lead to death. Most of the animals used in cosmetics testing are not covered by even the basic provisions of the Animal Welfare Act—the federal law that provides oversight for animals used in experimentation and research.
Current animal-intensive tests often cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per test, and can take years to yield results. These tests are based on the assumption that animals with significant physiological differences react to ingredients in the same way that a human would. Not surprisingly, animal-based outcomes are not necessarily the best predictors of how human skin will react to cosmetic products. Today, human cell-based tests and sophisticated computer models can deliver relevant results in mere hours or days and at a fraction of the cost. Additionally, thousands of existing cosmetic ingredients are available for companies to use; these ingredients have established safety records and do not require further animal testing when manufacturing cosmetics.
Major, multibillion-dollar marketplaces such as the European Union have successfully phased out the use of animal testing for cosmetics, as well as the sale of cosmetics tested on animals. The Humane Cosmetics Act would allow the United States to become a leader on this issue that relates to both animal welfare and consumer safety, rather than risk falling behind in a global marketplace that increasingly relies on—and necessitates—the use of alternative, non-animal testing methods.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Please email, call or write your representative today and urge him or her to cosponsor the Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 2858). Send an email via AWI's Compassion Index or find your legislator's contact information here. For more information on cruel and unnecessary animal testing, visit AWI's website.
Be sure to share our "Dear Humanitarian" eAlert with family, friends and co-workers, and encourage them to send a message also. As always, thank you very much for your help!