The facts don’t lie, and often in the case of animals subject to testing procedures throughout the U.S., they result only in suffering.
Even the Food and Drug Administration admits that 92 percent of the drugs submitted for approval on the basis of animal testing data do not meet basic human standards, LiveScience reports. The accuracy of modern science and genetic data renders the usefulness of testing products on non-human animals obsolete. Moreover, such testing is not even required by the FDA to prove products are safe.
The FD&C Act does not specifically require the use of animals in testing cosmetics for safety, nor does the act subject cosmetics to FDA premarket approval. However, the agency has consistently advised cosmetic manufacturers to employ whatever testing is appropriate and effective for substantiating the safety of their products. It remains the responsibility of the manufacturer to substantiate the safety of both ingredients and finished cosmetic products prior to marketing.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, mice, rats, rabbits and guinea pigs are often the subjects of skin and eye irritation tests, repeated force-feeding studies, and “lethal dose” tests in cosmetics development, despite the data not being required by law.
The wellbeing of an estimated 100 million animals in the United States is held outside the protections of the Animal Welfare Act, the Animal Legal Defense Fund reports, shrouded in darkness, both figurative, and literal. Laboratories are not bound by the rules the AWA places on the treatment of animals, and can–and often do–consider them disposable property.
Testing, distribution, and marketing of animal tested-products throughout the European Union has been banned completely since 2013. Many other countries have adopted similar prohibitions, however the United States has yet to decide on such a measure.
According to the HSUS, there are already many quality products on the market that are made safely, without animal testing. There are also more accurate and cost-effective non-animal tests.
Paul Locke, from the ALDF, recommends a three-part approach to ending animal testing: replacement, reduction, and refinement. While replacing animals with non-animal tests is always the goal of his organization, reducing the number animals used in research and refining the testing procedures so they are more compassionate are important areas of focus, as well.
Pressure is mounting on the federal government to ban animal testing across the country, and to release the records of involved facilities to the public. Click the link below to add your name to the growing list of those making a difference!
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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