Ban on Animal Testing for Cosmetics Supported by 46% of Women

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A technician measures the size of a tumor on a guinea pig
Source: National Cancer Institute, “Guinea Pig Tumor Sizing,” commons.wikipedia.org, 1980

A little over one-third of women only buy cosmetics from brands that do not use animal testing, according to a Mar. 29, 2018 survey by beauty app Perfect365. 46% of the 15,000 women surveyed supported a bill in California that would ban the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals, and 43% would stop using a product if informed that the product had been tested on animals.

Cara Harbor, Director of Marketing for Perfect365, stated, “Based on our recent user survey, data seems to suggest a large percentage of the younger generation of women are expressing concerns about the testing of beauty products on animals.”

California, New Jersey, and New York have banned cosmetic animal testing. At least three states, California, Hawaii, and New York, are currently considering bans on the import or sale of any beauty products tested on animals. Representative Martha McSally (R-AZ) has introduced the Humane Cosmetics Act to Congress, which would ban cosmetics testing on animals and ban the sale of cosmetics if any component was tested on animals.

Internationally, 80% of counties do not have laws preventing animal testing. At least 37 countries have banned or restricted the sale of cosmetics with ingredients tested on animals, beginning with the European Union and including Norway, Israel, India, and Guatemala. Canada is currently considering a ban.

However, in order to sell cosmetics in China, most products are required to be tested on animals in government labs, creating a dilemma for some companies who want access to China’s $6.7 billion retail market. Erin Hill, Cofounder and President of the Institute for In Vitro Science, notes the Chinese government is changing their policies but adds that “[o]ne reason the Chinese authorities are cautious about changing regulations is that the burden of safety in China lies with the government, not the manufacturer.”

Meanwhile, more non-animal testing options are becoming available. Michael Bachelor, Senior Scientist and Product Manager at biotech company MatTek, stated, “We can now create a model from human skin cells — keratinocytes — and produce normal skin or even a model that mimics a skin disease like psoriasis. Or we can use human pigment-producing cells — melanocytes — to create a pigmented skin model that is similar to human skin from different ethnicities. You can’t do that on a mouse or a rabbit.”


Sources:

Congress.gov, “H.R.2790 – Humane Cosmetics Act,” congress.gov (accessed Apr. 9, 2018)

Buffy Flores, “Cruelty-Free Bill Could See the End of Cosmetics Animal Testing in Canada,” livekindly.co, Jan. 18, 2018

Kristin Hugo, “California May Ban Cosmetics Tested on Animals,” newsweek.com, Apr. 2, 2018

Humane Society International, “Creating a Cruelty-Free World: Ending Animal Testing for Cosmetics,” hsi.org (accessed Apr. 9, 2017)

Humane Society of the United States, “Timeline: Cosmetics Testing on Animals,” humanesociety.org (accessed Apr. 9, 2017)

Visala Kantamneni, “Cosmetics Animal Testing Has Been Banned in These Amazing Places,” onegreenplanet.org, Apr. 10, 2014

Nadia Murray-Ragg, “Nearly Half of Women Support a Cosmetics Animal Testing Ban, Says Survey,” livekindly.co, Apr. 5, 2018

National Anti-Vivisection Society, “State Laws,” navs.org (accessed Apr. 9, 2018)

New York State Assembly, “Bill No.: A05145,” assembly.state.ny.us (accessed Apr. 9, 2018)

Perfect365, Inc., “New Survey from Perfect365 Reveals 36% of Women Prefer to Purchase Cruelty-Free Beauty,” businesswire.com, Mar. 29, 2018

Michael Sharp, “It’s Time to Go Cruelty Free,” humanesociety.org, Oct. 20, 2017

Elizabeth Siegel, “Why Beauty Brands Still Test Their Products on Animals,” allure.com, Oct. 20, 2017

Statista, “Retail Trade Revenue of Cosmetics in China from January 2017 to February 2018 (in Billion Yuan),” statista.com (accessed Apr. 9, 2017)

Jemima Webber, “The Body Shop Takes Biggest Anti Animal Testing Campaign in History to the UN,” livekindly.co, Jan. 26, 2018

Sophia Yan, “In China, Big Cosmetic Firms Are Selling Products Tested on Animals,” cnbc.com, Apr. 19, 2017