A bill to end animal testing for cosmetics has recently been reintroduced in the house for consideration. First introduced in 2013 and tabled, the Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 2858) aims to phase out animal testing after a one-year period, and eliminate the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in three years. The bill garnered little attention in 2013 but has since gained momentum with bipartisan and industry support. It is currently sponsored by U.S. Reps. Don Beyer, D-Va.; Martha McSally, R-Ariz.; Tony Cardenas, D-Calif.; and Joe Heck, R-Nev. Big names in the cosmetics industry have voiced their support as well, including Paul Mitchell, The Body Shop, LUSH and COTY.
Animal testing is not currently required by the FDA, which regulates the manufacturing of all cosmetics and personal products. There are more than a dozen different alternatives to animal testing accepted by the FDA and international regulatory agencies. These methods have been proven to be more consistent, effective, economical and easier to interpret, as well as allow companies to obtain safety information sooner. More than 500 brands already use alternative testing methods, and many tout their animal-friendly manufacturing processes as a selling point. The act provides incentives for companies to develop alternative testing methods in order to stay competitive. L’Oréal USA is already experimenting with 3D-printed skin tissue in order to advance the company’s skin research and testing.
According to a 2013 Humane Society Legislative Fund poll, 73% of American voters are in favor of ending animal testing. Advocates of the bill say that in addition to saving time, money and the lives of countless animals, it will help American companies stay competitive in the global cosmetics industry. The European Union has been phasing out animal testing on cosmetics since 2003 and voted for a complete ban on the testing and marketing of new animal-tested cosmetics and ingredients in 2013. The EU joined a list of other nations with bans already in place, including Israel and India. New Zealand, Brazil, South Korea and Vietnam are all working toward ending cosmetic testing. China recently lifted the animal testing requirement for certain products produced within the country.
Check makeupmag.com for updates regarding this bill and others concerning the cosmetics industry.