July 15, 2012 by Cassy
Recently, the European Council banned the use of animal testing in their cosmetic products effective 2013 [source]. It’s also important to know that this is only for new ingredients after 2009. So companies using ingredients registered with the EU prior to 2009 that had animal testing data are still allowed. Although such animal testing is not condemned by US and Canadian laws, I applaud the many companies that are taking steps or have already established policies on no animal testing. Despite these policies, animal testing in other countries like China and parts of South America is required by law. Hence, when companies source their raw materials from China and/or South America, it is almost without a doubt that these ingredients had been tested on animals. There is no way for consumers to know the source and country of origin of the ingredients. That’s why I look for products from companies that have cruelty-free logos. Knowing that these companies don’t test their products on animals is a relief. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t source ingredients from companies that do. I guess we can’t win at everything.
In my opinion, cosmetic animal testing is cruel. There is no life-saving science involved there. It’s all for the sake of more dollars and superficiality. My science background tells me that it’s necessary to test new drugs on animals in order to advance our medical technology, but I still can’t justify the use of new products on animals in order to make ourselves look more younger or prettier. While I made peace with the fact that every single drug has been tested on animals (FDA law requires this), I still can’t 100% support the use of testing on defenseless animals. Companies should already be using safe ingredients listed on FDA site or using other means of testing for efficacy (the article suggests 3D imaging and computer models). I’d be willing to pay extra to know that my money didn’t support the death or mistreatment of animals.