Ep. 12 Animal Testing: The True Cost of Looking Good

Animal Testing

Animal testing for cosmetics has been banned by the EU, India, Israel, Norway and South Korea. Shockingly, it is still permitted in the US.

  • It was once required in China in order to sell there, but there have been some changes.
    • Infographic: http://elephant-room.org/understanding-china-animal-testing-laws/
    • Every brand wants a piece of the Chinese market because it has huge sales potential, but the country has a strict animal testing law. It requires that companies pay for end-product animal testing in China. The country recently softened this law a bit and is allowing local companies to prove the safety of certain “ordinary” cosmetics by alternative means, but that doesn’t apply to foreign companies that want to export products there.
    • Some experts and cosmetic company exec’s state that companies cannot afford to opt out of the Chinese market. That’s not true when you look at the list of other companies that do not sell there.
    • Latest on Chinese animal testing: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/07/china-cosmetics-uk-training-stop-animal-testing
  • The U.S. has many resources committed to researching alternatives to animal testing. The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at Johns Hopkins  is at the forefront of the science, and it receives funding from private cosmetics companies, philanthropy and grants from governmental agencies like the NIH.
  • Chemicals that come from industries other than the beauty industry aren’t banned from animal testing. While [animal testing] has been banned for cosmetics in Europe, it hasn’t been banned for pharmaceuticals or manufacturing or other chemical industries.
  • The FDA has not approved some of the alternative methods to animal testing. The list of approved alternatives: http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/pubhealth/evalatm/iccvam/acceptance-of-alternative-methods/index.html
  • Legal tests include burning, poisoning, starving, forced smoking, mutilating, blinding, electrocuting, drowning, and dissecting without painkillers. For decades, cats, dogs, primates, birds, rodents, horses, goats, pigs, and other animals have been experimented on with these measures.
  • The FDA doesn’t require animal testing, but it does require that safety be demonstrated satisfactorily, though it’s hard to find a stated definition of what that exactly means.
  • FDA statement on animal testing: http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ScienceResearch/ProductTesting/ucm072268.htm
  • Humane Cosmetics Act: Animal Testing Ban, with 1 year phase out process
  • Animal Welfare Act- Existing legislation that dictates the well-being of test animals.
    • The goals are to ensure that animals used for research receive a high standard of care and are treated humanely and with respect. Suffering should be minimised but the stance is that it should not be minimised at the expense of the research goals and aims.
    • Thus, this means that animal suffering is seen as secondary to the goals of research and is only minimised if it does not interfere with the success of the experiment.
    • The guidelines and regulations themselves are also only relevant to mammals with the exclusion of birds, rats and mice. Given the enormous numbers of rats and mice used in the United States each year, it is clear that a great deal of legislation does not cover these animals, much to the criticism of animal welfare groups.
  • Current legislation also means that labs must pass inspections. However, there aren’t nearly enough inspectors to properly inspect research facilities. And even if they do find a violation, most inspectors aren’t empowered to do anything consequential about it.
  • Compassionate consumers can do their part by encouraging their representatives to support the Humane Cosmetics Act by becoming a co-sponsor. There are two simple ways to do this: 1) by signing Cruelty Free International’s petition and 2) by taking just five minutes to write and send a more personalized message to their representative.
  • This is a list of cruelty free products, which are also not sold in China: http://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/list-of-cruelty-free-brands/
  • There are other lines of cruelty free products, but they aren’t on the list because their parent company may still test on animals.
  • Personally, I thought that by phasing out my makeup with cruelty free products, I’d spend a SHIT ton on fancy, fru fru makeup. But that’s not true! 2 of the cheapest makeup brands I know of, E.L.F. and Wet’n Wild are on that list!
  • You don’t have to be rich, you just have to be informed.
  • https://www.change.org/p/ban-animal-testing-for-cosmetic-products
  • What I do is look at a brand on the list, and watch YouTube tutorials with those products.

Powerful but disturbing video. Be Advised.

This video show scenes of severe animal testing. Please be advised that this is not for everyone.


HAPPY VIDEO!! Watch this if you want to feel better after this episode!


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