Cruelty-Free Cosmetics for More than a Billion People
More than a billion people may soon stop using cosmetics tested on animals. Israel just banned all animal-tested cosmetics, and India is considering similar legislation. But until the United States and European Union do the same, thousands of rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, and rats will continue to suffer and die each year for cosmetics testing.
As of Jan. 1, Israel no longer allows the import and marketing of cosmetics, toiletries, or detergents that were tested on animals. Animal testing was already barred from the Israeli cosmetics industry in 2007. And this week—encouraged by the EU’s approaching ban—India announced that it is planning to impose a ban on testing cosmetics on animals.
The global trend of outlawing animal-tested cosmetics is a much-needed makeover, and my PCRM colleagues deserve some of the credit. The European Commission wavered last year on its upcoming 2013 ban on marketing of cosmetics containing animal-tested ingredients. But Kristie Sullivan, M.P.H., PCRM’s director of regulatory testing issues, and Aryenish Birdie, PCRM’s regulatory testing policy coordinator, rallied support for the ban, which appears to be back on track.
PCRM delivered nearly 25,000 letters from EU residents and people around the world to the European Commission calling on it to maintain its 2013 deadline for a ban on the marketing of cosmetic products tested on animals. Our campaign even drew support from Alicia Silverstone and True Blood’s Kristin Bauer.
Once the EU ban is law, another half a billion people will use only cruelty-free cosmetics. The United States will become the last top cosmetics market to allow animal testing on cosmetics. There are even efforts to increase cosmetics-testing requirements within the U.S. Congress. But PCRM will continue to push for a ban on animal tests for cosmetics.
In the meantime, we launched the Come Clean campaign to end excruciating skin irritation and corrosion tests on rabbits. Come Clean asks cosmetics companies to reveal whether they perform these tests, so PCRM scientists can help them transition to superior, cruelty-free test methods.
If the people of Israel, India, and the EU can safely use cruelty-free cosmetics, it’s time for the citizens of the United States to join them and for all cosmetics companies to come clean.