Each year, an estimated 1.28 million animals are killed in laboratory based experiments in the United States. Animals used for experimentation include, rabbits, monkeys, dogs, and rats. The procedures carried out on these animals often involve painful (and even life-threatening) techniques that are capable of making even an adult human suffer. Animal testing is particularly popular in the cosmetics industry, and even if finished products have not been tested on the face of a rabbit, individual ingredients often are.
In an attempt to prohibit animal testing and the sale of any cosmetics that have utilized animal testing, Virginia Democrat, Don Beyer, has become a leader for animals with the Moran bill. The bill will be proposed by Beyer once Congress meets in January. Even without Congressional support, the bill has already been endorsed by over 140 cosmetic companies!
With Republicans in control of Congress and only one Republican out of 55 co-sponsors supporting the bill – the proposal might not be the most popular subject of discussion. Still, the executive director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, Sara Amundson, said that proponents of the bill plan to “cast it in a pro-business light.”
“If U.S. companies have to comply with what’s already transpiring, for example, in the EU, one would want to ensure there aren’t any trade barriers,” she said.
Under federal law, it is not a requirement for manufacturers to test cosmetic products on animals before selling an item, but the FDA says it has “consistently advised cosmetic manufacturers to employ whatever testing is appropriate and effective.”
While, unfortunately, the bill will not benefit animals used for biomedical research, it is definitely a step in the right direction.
John Hurson, the executive vice president for government affairs in the Personal Care Products Council, has stated that the legislation echoes the industry’s “longstanding commitment to ultimately eliminate the need to conduct animal testing” on cosmetics.
The bill will be up for a vote in January, so be sure to tell your state’s representatives that we need their support for Moran Bill!
Image source: USDA/Wikimedia Commons