There are sites all over the internet suggesting that animal testing is an abomination and should be halted immediately. They make all sorts of claims that implying that science is a lot further along than it really is.
For example, this site called “Cosmetic Testing Facts” says…
“…the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require animal testing for cosmetics, and alternative testing methods are widely available and lead to more reliable results.”
Are alternatives really better?
But according to the scientists who are actually working on the problem, finding alternatives for animal testing is proving difficult. We’ve previously written about 5 new methods for reducing animal testing, but these tests just can’t completely replace animal testing. For example, there are no alternatives to animal testing for determining whether allergens are absorbed through the lungs.
So, if you are creating a product that will be sprayed from an aerosol, they have to do animal testing to prove that it’s safe.
Also, interesting in this article is that the scientists conclude
“…the end goal of developing tests without animals remains distant as the process of understanding how chemicals interact with human tissue, developing testing alternatives for new chemicals and then validating them is both slow and complex.”
This is certainly different than the claims made by anti-animal testing sites.
Does the FDA require animal testing?
We see this claim fairly frequently. But is it true? According to the FDA, “no but yes.” No, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic act does not specifically require animal testing to establish the safety of cosmetics. However, it does require that you only sell products that are proven to be safe. Unfortunately, the only data that the FDA accepts as proof that your product is safe is …animal testing!
So, while it’s true they don’t specifically say you have to do animal tests to prove safety, it’s the only data they accept as proof.
If the FDA didn’t require animal testing of cosmetics, no one would continue to do it.
The Cruelty Free Cosmetic Con
These days, you’ll find hundreds of companies, big and small, touting their products as being “cruelty free” or “not tested on animals”. But the truth is, this is not the whole truth. While it is perfectly legal to make claims that your whole product is not tested on animals (if it’s not), these same companies are using raw materials that were tested on animals by the raw material suppliers. No, the products weren’t tested on animals, but all the component materials were.
Beauty Brains bottom line
We here at the Beauty Brains can’t wait for the day when cosmetics and personal care products are no longer tested on animals. Hopefully, researchers will find useful alternatives. It’s just incredibly troubling that many companies are out there misleading consumers, tricking them into believing some products are more “ethical” than others because they aren’t tested on animals. All the products you use were at some point tested on animals.