Should makeup companies stop testing on animals? | The Tylt
Should makeup companies stop testing on animals?
The E.U. already bans makeup products that are tested on animals—people say the U.S. should follow their lead and ban it too. Animal rights advocates say there are plenty of viable alternatives to animal testing that are often more accurate and precise than animal tests.
In the past three decades scientists have developed many advanced alternatives to animal testing—methods that use human blood, cell lines, artificial skin or computer models to test the safety of products. And many multinational companies have embraced these alternative test methods, reducing and in some cases eliminating their dependence on animal testing. As a result, they cut costs and save time; animal testing is expensive, slow and, because animals are not people, not always predictive.
While there could be a defensible argument for using animal tests for medicine and drug development, activists say makeup companies have no reason to use animal testing besides the bottom line. The fact the E.U. has banned animal-tested products shows that the industry is able to stop the practice and still make money.
Animal testing is a cruel and unnecessary practice. Animals do not need to suffer so people can use makeup.
Some scientists say there's nothing wrong with testing on animals, provided there's genuine reason for it and it's done in an ethical manner. Companies test products on animals because consumers demand a safe product. Technology continues to improve, but it has not yet reached the complexity needed to match or beat animal testing.
A complete ban on animal testing means companies are locked into using chemicals that have already been verified. Industry advocates say animal testing plays an important role in innovation and research—one that's not easily replaced. It's not as though companies are testing products on animals for fun. Consumers want newer and better products and animal tests have a part to play in that.
But obviously the limitations in non-animal testing could affect the use of new chemicals. In the beauty industry, buzzwords like “innovative” are used constantly, and consumers always want the hot new miracle product. With an animal testing ban, innovation could be stalled. “All [companies will] do is take current formulas and change the fragrance and coloring and packaging and call them new, but they won’t be new,” Romanowski says. Francine Lamoriello, the executive vice president of the Council’s Global Affairs at the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), an industry trade group, agrees. “If there was something innovative where the safety could not be completely verified by alternatives, then yes, an [animal testing] ban worldwide would prevent that innovation from being produced on the market,” she says. Obviously it’s an issue for companies, because if you don’t innovate, you won’t sell product.