Target: United States Department of Agriculture
Goal: Implement public reporting on all animals used for testing cosmetics and household products, and the percentage of animals euthanized
Through loopholes in vaguely written laws, an unknown number of animals are being tortured under the guise of medical advancement. Testing on animals for cosmetic and household products is unnecessary and the data gathered from these tests are unreliable, costly, and inhumane. Companies define for themselves what their “cruelty-free” label means and with no substantial government guidelines, many are free to treat animals as if they were disposable.
Several measures addressing animal testing for cosmetic and cleaning products have been enacted as law, but most serve corporations, manufacturers, and laboratories, not animal welfare. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act of 1938 entrusted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with authority over cosmetic testing, stipulating only that products must be verified as safe for human use before they are sold. The act offers a broad definition of cosmetics and does not call for regulation, allowing wiggle room for unethical companies. The Animal Welfare Act serves as the rule of thumb for governmental activism. It calls for the “minimum standards” of care and treatment of animals to be met. It does not set definite treatment criteria or require public disclosure on the number of animals used yearly and the ones ultimately killed.
A myriad of alternatives in cosmetic research make animal testing needless. The John Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health created the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT). Through this specialized division came ALTWeb, a website dedicated to providing information about research methods and resources for animal protection. Another way to obtain information without torturing animals is to turn to the FDA’s “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) list, containing substances and their safety findings. Previously documented results and alternate avenues of testing can eliminate using animals for research purposes.
The United States continues to invalidate alternatives to animal testing. A refusal to acknowledge other methods to affirm product safety pleads for statistical information regarding the use of animals in cosmetic and products for home use. Public pressure for the disclosure of this information will lead to change. Sign the petition here and be a part of the push to make animal testing obsolete.
Dear United States Department of Agriculture,
The exact number of animals used for testing cosmetics and household products, along with the percentage of those killed after they are deemed useless, remains unreported to the public. Advances in alternative testing methods and the availability of proven data make animal testing a cruel waste.
A lifetime worth of blinding injections, the introduction of cancer to the system, and tests to determine how toxicity is excreted are nothing less than barbaric. Make the public aware of the massive slaughter of animals used in unnecessary testing by making viewable on your website the number of animals used yearly for testing and the percentage of those euthanized.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Carlos Latuff via Wikimedia Commons