Bill to End Animal Testing for Cosmetics

AAVS Urges Congress to Support the Humane Cosmetics Act

March 5, 2014

On March 5th, the Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 4148), legislation that would prohibit the use of animals in the testing of cosmetics and their component ingredients, was introduced to Congress by Representative Jim Moran (D-VA). If passed, the bill will also phase out the sale of cosmetic products containing animal tested ingredients.

“We are thrilled that Congressman Moran has taken up this important issue,” said AAVS President Sue Leary. “It is time for the United States to join other countries that have been saying ‘no’ to the needless testing of cosmetic products on animals.”

In 2004, the European Union 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. Most recently, China announced plans to phase out mandatory animal testing of some cosmetic products.

In the U.S., animal tests have been used to evaluate the safety of cosmetic products and ingredients for decades, although no law requiring animal testing exists. 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.

“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 Representative Moran. “This legislation would encourage the use of testing alternatives that are more effective and cheaper to conduct.”

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.

The American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS) is the first non-profit animal advocacy and educational organization in the United States dedicated to ending the use of animals in research, testing, and education. Founded in Philadelphia in 1883, AAVS pursues its objectives through legal and effective advocacy, education, and support of the development of non-animal alternative methods.