Animal Testing In Cosmetics

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Before a thorough analysis of the public policy can be done, it is important to understand why this topic is a social problem worthy of discussion. Animal testing is defined as, Use of animals in experiments and development projects usually to determine toxicity, dosing and efficacy of test drugs before proceeding to human clinical trials (Animal Testing). The use of animal testing dates back to the earliest time in history.

The earliest evidence of animal testing is from descriptions of the dissection of live animals in 500 BC from Greek writings. During this time, animals were being used in an attempt to discover the functions of living organisms (Procon). The use of animals in cosmetic testing began in the 1940’s as a result of the tipping point in which hundreds of people suffered from serious injuries after being exposed to unsafe beauty products. This was mainly caused by the passing of the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (FD&C) in 1938, which increased guidelines on the safety of cosmetic products. In reaction to this act, many companies looked to animals in order to test their products and meet the new safety guidelines (National Anti-Vivisection Society).

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Beginning in the 2000’s, many companies have started to stop using animal testing on their products, largely due to complaints by customers. In 2014, the Humane Cosmetics Act, HR 4148, was introduced by Republican congressman Jim Moran. This bill aims to ensure that animals are not harmed in the manufacturing of cosmetic products, and is the first federal bill to be introduced to prohibit animal testing for cosmetics produced and sold in the United States (The Humane Society). Despite continued widespread support, this bill has not received a hearing on the floor, so no significant progress has been made in the passing of this bill.

There are two sides to this policy debate. One side is that animal testing for cosmetics should be legal, while the other is that animal testing for cosmetics should be banned. On one hand, some believe that animal testing for cosmetics should be legal because it is necessary in order to prove the safety of cosmetic products. Additionally, scientists state that animals are the closest bodies to humans and thus can most effectively produce accurate results on the safety of products. On the other hand, some believe that animal testing for cosmetics should be banned because it is cruel and inhumane.

Those who are against animal testing argue that new technology has been developed and now provides better alternatives to animal testing. In addition, many say that it is unnecessary because an abundant amount of ingredients have already been proven safe to use in cosmetics, so there is no need to continue to test new ingredients. The side that is for animal testing wants to keep the current laws and does not want any new laws to be passed.

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