Cosmetics are tested on animals in many ways, from skin irritation to toxicity. Many products are tested on mice, rats, rabbits, and guinea pigs. Some animals experience physical harm from the testing process and some suffer from severe reactions, which result in death. Animals used in cosmetics testing are often healthy, but there are also many reasons why they need to be tested on animals. The following are just a few of them:
There are many arguments against testing cosmetics on animals. Most cosmetics manufacturers do not use animals as test subjects, but some companies do. Animals have helped to improve medical treatments, determine the toxicity of drugs, and test the safety of products intended for human consumption. The use of animals for cosmetics testing prevents harm to people. The animals used in these tests are also considered the closest species to humans and undergo similar stimulations to humans.
Animal testing of cosmetics has been in practice for decades, but has recently begun to diminish. The Animal Welfare Act of 1966 does not address cosmetics testing, but some countries have laws against animal testing. In 2009, the European Union halted the sale and importation of all cosmetics currently being stocked in their stores. In addition, in Europe, the sale of finished products and ingredients tested on animals was banned. As a result, all cosmetics sold in the European Union are cruelty-free.
In the US, environmental organizations continue to demand more animal tests for cosmetics, while the rest of the world has moved away from the archaic practice. Scientists and the Natural Resources Defense Council acknowledge that non-animal tests are just as valuable and cheaper. But they still oppose a ban on cosmetics testing on animals in Europe. They believe that non-animal tests are more predictive of the effects of cosmetics on human health.
The animal rights movement gained momentum in 2014/15 and 2015/16, when companies like Unilever stepped forward to support the #BeCrueltyFree campaign. Some countries, such as France, have already banned cosmetics testing on animals. Other states have also banned animal testing. The cosmetics industry is expected to follow suit soon. In the meantime, many consumers are taking action to avoid the cruelty-filled products that are available on the market.
In many countries, animal testing is not allowed in cosmetics. While the European Union has banned animal testing in cosmetics, the United States does not. However, many consumers in other countries are choosing to purchase cruelty-free cosmetics over those made with animals. There are many reasons for this, including ethical consideration of animals and arguments against speciesism. Whether a product is made with animals in mind is an individual choice, but the fact remains that some companies may not be vegan or have animal cruelty policies.
In recent years, many cosmetics companies have turned to non-animal methods, including using a cruelty-free formula. Some have an ethical stance toward the issue, while others have an economic motivation. These companies see a growing market for cosmetics that are made without animal testing. This trend shows progress in spreading animal rights. However, it is imperative that consumers become aware of the ethical implications of testing cosmetics on animals.
China requires animal testing for cosmetics
Before deciding to enter the Chinese market, major cosmetics brands were faced with a dilemma – China requires animal testing for most of their products. However, the Chinese government recently eased this requirement and will no longer require pre-market animal testing for ordinary cosmetics. After May 1st, brands with good manufacturing practices certifications are exempt from this requirement. The first country to issue certificates was France. In response, several international brands rushed to China, promoting cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics.
The new regulations in China will allow the use of non-animal methods for cosmetics in its manufacturing and importation processes. While animal testing is still required for’special’ products, China will no longer require it for general cosmetics. These products do not make specific claims, such as skin whitening or anti-acne treatments. Those products still require animal testing, however, including hair dyes, bleaching products, and hair loss treatments.
Alternatives to animal testing
Although some countries and states have passed laws banning or restricting animal testing for cosmetics, others continue to conduct experiments on animals for the sake of research and development. However, growing consumer awareness of the ethical beauty industry has led to support for humane alternatives to animal testing. As more companies turn to non-animal methods, scientists and researchers have come up with innovative ways to check the safety of cosmetics. Listed below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using alternative models for cosmetics testing.
Human stem cells are a promising alternative to animal testing. Researchers at UCR have developed a way to test whether chemicals cause musculoskeletal birth defects using lab-grown human tissue. The researchers are Nicole zur Nieden, associate professor of molecular, cell, and systems biology, and David Volz, an associate professor of environmental toxicology and chemicals policy and regulation. By growing human stem cells in a laboratory, scientists can test whether or not certain chemicals cause skeletal defects in animals.