Currently, the United States does not require animal testing for cosmetics and beauty products. Brands are able to be completely cruelty free all the way down to ingredient suppliers without any worry. As a vegan consumer, this is something that I love. Being able to trust so many brands to be free of animal testing and ingredients is an amazing thing! Sadly, this may be changing.
Leaping Bunny notified me last week about a potential change in policy. It’s taken me a while to get the news up because, to be honest, I simply did not want to believe that such a huge step backwards could even be considered. Thinking about what it means for the beauty industry, so many businesses, and so many individuals (both consumers and animals) is heartbreaking to say the least. With so many countries around the world taking steps in the right direction on this, how could the U.S. even consider something that is such a step back?
Animal testing aside, the costs to businesses would be very high if this Act goes into effect. It would likely put many independent and small brands out of business. With so many cruelty free and vegan brands emerging all the time, this would be a major hit to many small business owners.
The Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013 (SCPCPA) is a legislation that is intended to overhaul the way that cosmetic products are regulated in the U.S.
Recently published research shows that up to 11.5 million animals would be required to test and retest finished products and ingredients for safety, reversing a decades-long decline in animal testing for cosmetics. Altex recently published an online first summary of the Safety Evaluations Under the Proposed US Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013: Animal Use and Cost Estimates.
The proposed Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013 calls for a new evaluation program for cosmetic ingredients in the US, with the new assessments initially dependent on expanded animal testing. This paper considers possible testing scenarios under the proposed Act and estimates the number of test animals and cost under each scenario. It focuses on the impact for the first 10 years of testing, the period of greatest impact on animals and costs. The analysis suggests the first 10 years of testing under the Act could evaluate, at most, about 50% of ingredients used in cosmetics. Testing during this period would cost about $ 1.7-$ 9 billion and 1-11.5 million animals. By test year 10, alternative, high-throughput test methods under development are expected to be available, replacing animal testing and allowing rapid evaluation of all ingredients. Given the high cost in dollars and animal lives of the first 10 years for only about half of ingredients, a better choice may be to accelerate development of high-throughput methods. This would allow evaluation of 100% of cosmetic ingredients before year 10 at lower cost and without animal testing.
The rationale for the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013 (SCPCPA) is not clearly stated in the act.
While it appears that the ultimate goal is to create better alternatives to animal testing, this is simply a massive step in the wrong direction. It is also in direct contradiction to major leaps forward in the past year such as the bans on animal testing in the EU, India, Israel, and Brazil. Even China, where animal testing is currently required by law, may be adjusting their stance later this year.
What can you do about the SCPCPA act? As a consumer, it’s important to remember that you hold a lot of power in your hands. Your voice is incredibly strong and it’s important to use it! Here are some ways in which you can use your voice on this issue:
- Write to your state Congress and Senate representatives. Let them know your thoughts on the issue, that you oppose this act, and hope they will as well. I was unable to find out who would be voting on this issue, but this is your best bet.
- Oppose the issue on Open Congress. Thank you to Logical Harmony reader Monica for letting me know about this one! You can find the bill on Open Congress and directly send your rep a letter about opposing the bill. Find the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013 (SCPCPA) here - http://bit.ly/LBARrO
- Sign the petition started by Logical Harmony on Change.org. This just takes a couple of minutes and can have a big impact if a lot of signatures are received. You can find the petition here - http://chn.ge/1dsKmk0
- Let cruelty free brands know that you support them. This can be done in two ways – supporting them with your words (let them know how much you appreciate their stance on animal testing) and supporting them with your dollars. By only purchasing items that are not tested on animals (and free of animal ingredients!) you are doing your part to show where you want your hard earned money to be spent. The costs to businesses would be very high if this Act goes into effect. It would likely put many independent and small brands out of business. Please don’t let that happen!
- Support organizations that are fighting to spread the message about cruelty free living! Follow these organizations on social networks and share their updates with your readers. They often set up social media and letter writing campaigns – take part in these!
- Support your favorite cruelty free and vegan blogs! These blogs are an easy way to find out about brands to support, but it’s also a great community to connect with. Doing what you can to spread the word about how important it is to use cruelty free options will impact things in a major way. Especially if you start sharing posts with your friends who do not currently buy cruelty free items and get them to start supporting a cruelty free lifestyle.
- Share this post! Help spread awareness and education by Pinning, Tweeting, emailing, and sharing on Facebook. Here’s a tweet that you can easily copy & paste: Animal Testing Could Soon be Required by Law in the United States. Please don’t let this happen! http://bit.ly/1lBKOq1 via @LogicalHarmony
- Share the Leaping Bunny post about this act! Leaping Bunny created a quick and easy to understand breakdown, which can be found here - http://bit.ly/1ayCjr5. Share this on Twitter, Facebook, and email it to people you know.
Leaping Bunny has issued a press release about this topic, which is located below. They also have a great list of quick facts about the Act, which can be found here - http://bit.ly/1ayCjr5. I echo Leaping Bunny’s concerns and am honored that they gave me a heads up on this story so that I could share it with readers here. Leaping Bunny is an organization that I trust, and I appreciate that they have the interest of animals at the core of their values.
Study Finds Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act will result in an increase in animal testing
January 27, 2014
PHILADELPHIA—The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC), which operates the Leaping Bunny Program in the U.S. and Canada, has serious concerns about the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013 (SCPCPA), H.R. 1385, legislation intended to overhaul the way cosmetic products are regulated in the United States. Recently published research shows that up to 11.5 million animals would be required to test and retest finished products and ingredients for safety, reversing a decades-long decline in animal testing for cosmetics.
The article, “Safety Evaluations Under the Proposed US Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013: Animal Use and Cost Estimates,” published on January 24, 2014 in ALTEX, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, calculated that passage of the SCPCPA will result in a minimum of one million animals being used in new required testing and will cost companies between $1.7-$9 billion to perform these tests, a dramatic increase over current testing costs and numbers of animals used.
Co-author of the article Jean Knight states, “In reading the Act, I was surprised to see that it would increase animal testing of cosmetics, since this is counter to the worldwide trend to reduce animal testing. The Act’s language can’t be easily understood unless you have some background in toxicology, so this impact was flying under the radar. Many Leaping Bunny certified companies were actually supporting the Act, unaware of the implications for animal testing. The article hopefully brings this information onto the radar so that people can make informed decisions.”
Sue Leary, Chair of the CCIC states, “The authors of this article have done a great service in demonstrating that SCPCPA is a regressive bill. There has been a decisive move in recent years away from cruel and unnecessary animal testing but this bill reverses that. It’s hard to imagine why legislators would want to increase animal testing for things like lipstick and shampoo. Consumers certainly don’t want this and companies don’t either.”
CCIC believes the passage of this act is the wrong approach, and the United States should instead harmonize its cosmetics laws with those of the European Union, Israel, and India, which prohibit the use of animals to test cosmetics and their component ingredients while ensuring consumer safety.
The Leaping Bunny Program offers the most up-to-date list of companies that have committed to no new animal testing throughout their manufacturing process, from ingredients to finished products. The Leaping Bunny Logo is consistently ranked by third parties as the cruelty-free logo that can be trusted the most.
For a one-page summary, click here http://leapingbunny.org/SafeCosmeticsAct.php and to read the article in its entirety, visit the ALTEX website: http://www.altex.ch/Online- first.95.html.Since 1996, the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) has been connecting compassionate consumers with cruelty-free companies. The CCIC is made up of the following organizations: American Anti- Vivisection Society; Animal Alliance of Canada; Beauty Without Cruelty, USA; Doris Day Animal League; Humane Society of Canada; The Humane Society of the United States; and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society. CCIC’s international partner is the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments. For more information, contact the CCIC at (888) 546-2242 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, you can expect updates from Logical Harmony to be posted as they become available.