When a woman whose main job requirement is to be beautiful expresses that animal testing for the sake of vanity is wrong, you have to wonder what lawmakers were thinking.
The controversy surrounding animal testing for cosmetic and personal products always brings out passions. Do you remember the Urban Decay backlash when they wanted to sacrifice their cruelty-free standing in order to enter the Chinese market (where animal testing was required by law) and the second wave of backlash when they sold to L’Oréal? While L’Oréal insists that it is committed to ending animal testing, they do admit to making exceptions where animal testing is required by law. They also have a history of not being totally transparent.
If the United States’ Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013 (SCPCPA) goes into effect, then cue more passionate backlash.
11.5 million animals will be tortured, and, most likely, killed for the safety of your vanity.
L’Oréal always reminds us that we are ‘worth it,’ but aren’t those 11.5 million animals’ lives worth it, too?
The Ugly of SCPCPA
A peer-reviewed article, published in ALTEX, found that SCPCPA wouldn’t be good for businesses or the animals. Over the course of a decade, cosmetic and personal care companies would be required to shell out between $1.7 and $9 billion to perform the new tests under the Act. Meanwhile, the present worldwide cost of animal testing is $54 million per year, or $540 million over a 10-year span.
According to a Leaping Bunny press release, over a 10-year period, “11.5 million animals would be required to test and retest finished products and ingredients for safety.” The authors estimate that there are currently 27,000 cosmetic tests performed worldwide annually, or 270,000 over a 10-year span.
In the Leaping Bunny press release, Jean Knight, a co-author of the peer-reviewed article, explained that the language, or jargon, of the Act “can’t be easily understood unless you have some background in toxicology, so the impact was flying under the radar.” Ironically, many Leaping Bunny certified companies were initially in favor of the Act.
On a more practical note, the evaluative article also highlighted the cost and time inadequacies of the Act. As the Leaping Bunny summary explains, the authors of the ALTEX article note how, “Even under optimal conditions, the number of ingredients to receive evaluations would be 10,000, a little over half of the ingredients likely in use in 10 years.” The authors also explain how holding on to archaic animal testing practices hinders the development of alternatives that would speed up the efficacy of current animal tests and spare the lives of millions of innocent animals in the process.
The Beauty of the World
How does SCPCPA make any business sense? Let’s consider the countries that have banned, started banning, and/or are open to creating and implementing cruelty-free alternatives:
You see where this is going? Cosmetic animal testing is increasingly becoming an unpopular trend across the globe. The United States would lose a competitive advantage by reinvigorating dated practices.
Consumers Get it
In 2013, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) shared nationwide poll results related to animal testing for cosmetic use. Their findings found that 67 percent of Americans were against cosmetic animal testing.
Another poll result highlight is that while the majority , 68 percent to be exact, were aware that cosmetics were tested on animals, 70 percent, of the 802 voters, believed that cosmetic animal testing should be illegal.
Some Brands Get it Too
Brands that listen to their customers know that the demand for cruelty-free products is real. Urban Decay sort of listened by not going to China and remaining cruelty-free, but they did sell their company to L’Oréal, in the end.
At the same time, Lush Cosmetics, a company committed to ethical and cruelty-free products, issued their China stance claiming that they wouldn’t enter the Chinese market until China’s mandatory animal testing law is “changed out-right.”
Yes, it’s the same Lush Cosmetics that made headlines with their live human animal testing demonstration.
Whatever became of Lush Cosmetics?
As The International News Magazine reports (as of January 28, 2014),”With 910 stores in 50 countries, we [Lush Cosmetics] are delighted with an overall increase in our global sales of +17.6% for the same 5 week period (+11.4% LFL) with global highlights being North America (+21% LFL) and Australia (+35% LFL).”
I hope that other brands will see that nothing too horrible will happen if they take, and keep, a stance. Hopefully, brands (and the minds behind the SCPCPA) will also see Lush Cosmetics’ North American ‘highlight’ — hint, hint.
If you don’t want your favorite brand to support SCPCPA, then let them know. It’s safe to say that you’ve probably invested more in their brand than the SCPCPA.
Your dollar, your vote. Your vote, one more innocent life saved.
That seems worth it to me. What about you?
Photo Credit: Understanding Animal Research