Legally Brief: the U.S. Must Ban Cosmetic Testing on Animals

Posted by Stephen Wells, ALDF Executive Director on June 5, 2014

Legally Brief

Some good news may be coming for animals: the Humane Cosmetics Act, introduced by Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) as “HR 4148.” If passed, the Act would eliminate animal testing for cosmetics made or sold in the U.S. It would also make it illegal to sell or transport cosmetics across state lines if any part of that product has been manufactured by testing on animals after the ban is implemented. The bill has bipartisan support and recently Michael Grimm (R-NY) signed on as a co-sponsor, along with nearly 50 other members of Congress.

rabbit-cc-the-original-turtle-article-image-500pxAnimals—most commonly rabbits and rats—are used in acute toxicity tests where they are force-fed or forced to inhale massive doses of a chemical ingredient, and as a result will suffer severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, convulsions, paralysis, seizures, and/or bleeding before death. Other tests include eye and skin corrosion tests, in which rabbits are fully restrained while chemical substances are dripped into their eyes or rubbed into their shaved skin, creating ulcers, scabs, swelling, or blindness. These results are subjective at best and can only predict human reaction with approximately 65% accuracy in most cases.

Furthermore, these tests have been done already, for years—and none of these cosmetic tests are required by law—not by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), not by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and not by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) or any other law or regulatory body. Worse still, the Animal Welfare Act (AWA)—the federal law that regulates animal testing—is poorly enforced, and doesn’t address or provide any legal protection for most of the millions of animals tested on—like rats, mice, and birds.

So why are these cruel, unnecessary tests performed? It is likely that these tests are used by corporations to shield themselves from potential liability in the event they are sued. But even so, it is in the best interest for the industry itself to use alternatives to testing on animals because such tests are known to be unreliable, expensive, and time-consuming. More importantly, they cause tremendous and unnecessary suffering to sentient beings. Scientists have already developed alternatives that use human blood, cell, or skin tissues, or advanced computer technology to test the safety of cosmetic products. Companies already using these alternative methods have cut costs, time, and cruelty. There are numerous, widely available brands that have never been tested on animals—see ALDF’s Cruelty-Free Consumer Guide.

As recently noted in Scientific American, the U.S. has been behind the times when it comes to preventing cruelty to animals in unnecessary laboratory testing. The European Union has banned cosmetic testing and even prohibits the marketing of cosmetic products tested on animals. In contrast, China requires such testing, and the U.S., while not requiring it, has not stepped up to ban it. Happily, that may finally change with the Humane Cosmetics Act.

Just this week, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health held a Briefing on The Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 4148): Advances and Challenges in Replacing Animal Use in Cosmetic Testing in Washington, D.C., in which experts discussed the scientific advances in non-animal testing for cosmetic safety, and the scientific, legal, and policy challenges that remain, and how the Humane Cosmetics Act could impact other U.S. laws and policies.

The Humane Cosmetics Act would encourage the development of new testing methods that don’t harm animals, and increase the use of advanced testing alternatives already available. Better, more reliable methods of testing mean eliminating testing on animals. Our need to produce safe products corresponds directly with our need to make those products humane, and both are possible under the law.

For more information, order ALDF’s “Animal Testing and the Law” brochure.

98 thoughts on “Legally Brief: the U.S. Must Ban Cosmetic Testing on Animals

  1. ashlynn amin says:

    I support the banning of animal testing.

  2. Animal testing is inhumane and immoral and should be illegalized. There are people who gladly participate in research. And guess what the research done on consenting humans would be more accurate! Stop animal testing now!!!!!

  3. Sharon says:

    It’s about time

  4. Ban this evil practice!

  5. judylynnscott says:

    I have QUIT! purchasing any cosmetics for this reason & so have my family members & we are spreading the word . So are the inportant people in the movie and record business WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH!

  6. Jeri says:

    please please support the ban on animal testing!! these little creatures do not deserve to be mistreated w dangerous cosmetic ingredients.

  7. sophie spencer says:

    How dare we!!! Leave them alone

  8. Timothy Brohawn says:

    testing for cosmetic purposes is abhorrent.

  9. Jocelyne says:

    Please do pass this bill, it’s the only way to change our inhumane treatment of sentients living beings.

  10. ursula bateman says:

    please stop cosmetic testing on all animals

  11. Gilda Ho says:

    If EU can do it, so can USA!

  12. Molly Warnock says:

    I wholeheartedly support this proposed legislation, as well as the broader efforts of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to raise awareness about viable scientific alternatives to animal testing.

  13. angela says:

    Yes! Finally

  14. Marian Gallagher says:

    We must stop animal cruelty.

  15. TINA LESLIE says:



  16. Mary Mandatori says:

    I live in Canada but I’m all for this ban. A lot of our make up products come from US.

  17. Rene'e Cond'e says:

    Please no testing on animals and pass the bill

  18. Sharon Marr says:

    Stop using animals for any testing !!

  19. Pamela Cornish says:

    It is very sad to me that anyone was ever ok with doing
    such an evil thing to begin with!!!!

  20. Robyn Sharpe says:

    It is about time we stop this cruelty.

  21. Dawn Bacallao says:

    Ban testing on animals. The end.

  22. Can’t happen too soon for me.

  23. Elaine Brown says:


  24. sharon mcaulay says:

    All cosmetic testing on animals should be banned worldwide! The practise is barbaric!

  25. There is no justifiable reason for testing on animals anymore with computer technology available. Please stop the testing on animals!

  26. joanna szarapo says:

    Not ours to test on!!!!! STOP TESTING ON ANIMALS!!!!!!!

  27. Priscilla says:

    My prayers are answered! This is wonderful news.

  28. Sue Dalton says:

    Do it now. Thanks

  29. Emily Nagurney says:

    With only 65% accuracy animal testing does not benefit humans or animals. Please stop this cruel practice immediately.

  30. Sarah Jones says:

    I will never knowingly use products from companies that use animals for testing….it’s barbaric!

  31. Jaimie Clarke says:

    This is really great news. Now, we just have to hope and pray that there are enough “Humane” voters to pass this legislation! Help them please! No animal testing Ever!

  32. Bernadette Elander says:

    End cosmetic testing in the US now! This is cruel and unnecessary.

  33. Testing anything on animals should have been banned from it’s inception. It is so wrong and so cruel there are no words to justify this practice. Ban all animal testing!

  34. Cynthia says:

    Animal testing in this day and age is barbaric and completely unnecessary. The world can and will gladly do without it. Make the process faster.

  35. This must stop !!! it is cruel and a form of torture !! how would you like being tested for all these things ?

  36. Elynn says:

    Ban Animal Testing! If you must test do it on people on death row. I will not purchase anything tested on animals. End of conversation. Go vegan.

  37. tracy randolph says:

    PLEASE❗ this is a cruelty that never should have been tolerated to begin with❗ it is just disgustingly archaic & absolutely unnecessary❗PLEASE stop this abuse & PLEASE place the ban immediately❗STOP ANIMAL CRUELTY AND STOP ANIMAL TESTING❗

  38. liz says:

    Animal testing is cruel and inhumane and should be stopped NOW

  39. trixietoni says:

    Please stop these barbaric testing on animals.

  40. Pamela Geier says:

    Ban ALL animal testing.

  41. Anne Dobson says:

    This is obscene and morally wrong that in 2014 we still use animals for testing cosmetics, household products and drugs. This should be stopped immediately!!

  42. Lander Compton says:

    All Life is Precious to God Cause he made it.Stop this cruel Practice of testing on animals.

  43. Jenny says:

    Ban all animal testing!

  44. Marta says:

    I support the banning of animal testing.

  45. Christine S. says:

    Torturing through cruel and inhumane ways for the sake of what? There are make up industries out there who dont use animal testing for their products so why should this be permitted by others? A dominating race and we kill each other and everything below us. This mind of stuff has to stop somewhere! Enough is enough. Pollution does enough damage without people having to add more inhumane things to be done to animals.

  46. Carly Bostick says:

    Animal testing is disgraceful!!!!! Ban once and for all.
    “The greatness of a Nation and it’s moral progress can be judged by the way it’s animals are treated!”

  47. Dorothy Silva says:

    Stop all animal,teting. This should have been done years, ago. It is beyong, cruel and inhumane especially since it involves p J\romoting human, vanity at the suffering of innocent, helpless, animals. They are not ours to use and test anything on!IT IS NOT ALL ABOUT US AND NEVER HAS BEEN!

    D. Silva,

  48. Deborah woods says:

    No Animal Testing!!!

  49. Dorothy Silva says:

    End this now is is beyond cruel and nhumane! It is not all about us and never has been! All animals have a right to their own bodies, skin, flesh and babies and to live out the life that nature, designed them for with out free and without fear of human,exploitation for human profit and vanity!

  50. Debra Griffet says:

    This needs to stop! This is needless suffering on animals. There are many other ways to test this crap without using innocent animals to do so. I am a nurse by profession snd try to ease the suffering on any living thing. I will not buy anything that is tested on animals which leaves only a few companies.

  51. Teresa Ledbetter says:

    Please ban all animal testing!! This is so wrong !!

  52. Kelly Stokoe says:

    Please BAN all animal testing!

  53. lori conley says:

    I support the banning of animal testing

  54. Kathy hughes says:

    Please, let’s put on our humanity and stop this cruelty!

  55. Claire Deed says:

    Animal testing is disgusting and I can not believe that it is taking this long for something to change. I am praying that this will be the beginning of the end of animal testing.

  56. Deb Buckland says:

    It is inhumane and unnecessary to test products on animals. Our society needs to stop this archaic practice.

  57. Kara DuBois says:

    Torturing animals is NEVER ok! All of the companies that do animal testing need to be shut down! You’d get arrested for animal cruelty if you did these sick things to your pets at home why is it legal in cosmetic companies?! Look at the double standard & know that torturing threes innocent precious souls is not an option!

  58. Deepika says:

    Stop testing cosmetics on animals.. They have the same pain as we have.. Be human..

  59. Lisa R Goldberg says:

    Testing on animals is NOT necessary! What happened to human beings being humane, loving and kind; compassionate and leaders of good? If only prayers were enough to have the human race the way God intended it to be…

  60. Animal testing is cruel, archaic, and completely unnecessary. It needs to end now. The EU banned all forms of animal testing recently, we should also.

  61. Claudia Dealmeida says:

    As a people, we have come too far and we know too much to tolerate animal cruelty any longer.Please stop animal testing. I will not give a cent to any company that does.

  62. Elise Mysels says:

    It’s the 21st century for God’s sack! These methods are so out dated, unnecessary & barbaric.

  63. Debbie Brush says:

    This antiquated non humane practice must stop already!

  64. eileen bosch says:

    Sop all animal testing. Not necessary

  65. Greg Villers says:

    This must stop now. It is an abomination and can not be allowed to continue.

  66. JPP says:


  67. tami clasen says:

    Its unimaginable what humans do to these living beautiful creatures.

  68. Jessica White says:

    So cruel and unnecessary to test cosmetics (or anything else) on animals. I support this ban 100%

  69. sheila orff says:

    We need to stop this cruel treatment that is going on with animals…it is inhumane..

  70. Patricia says:

    Animal testing is inhumane and unnecessary. It is sadistic and needs to stop.

  71. Amanda Rice says:

    Animal testing is so extremely inhumane & downright evil. I have absolutely no idea how the people who test on the precious animals can sleep at night. Animals are not here for human use.

  72. Tiffany says:

    Animals have feelings just like we do so why would it ever be ok to test on them??? Please ban testing immediately

  73. Stop testing cosmetics on animals period! It’s a cruel and inhumane practice that needs to be banned.

  74. Robyn says:

    Disgraceful in this day and age. We are a sad race to think we can use these animals like this.

  75. J.I.Farlow says:

    Ridiculous to continue testing on animals. The results are NOT parallel to human use. This needs to stop now. It’s barbaric and profit driven.

  76. Joi Ansley says:

    All life is sacred. Using animlas for testing is an outdated practice much like using leeches to cure disease. Respect for life is the only future mankind should embrace for without it we are lost

  77. Alice Kent says:

    Please support the ban on animal testing. This inhumane and cruel practice needs to stopped. All for the sake of cosmetics makes it even more horrific! Animals should have rights.

  78. ChrisMorr says:

    Only the uneducated or ignorant would still support animal testing. Why is this even an issue in 2014 – why are we (USA) SO slow to make progress ?

  79. michele says:

    Looooong overdue. I truly hope this bill passes. I only use beauty products not tested on animals but there are still way too many on the shelves that do this inhumane and unnecessary testing. Glad this is finally being taken seriously.

  80. Marcia Barreto says:

    Most of these tests are useless and are done to get funds for “research”. In any case it should be banned. Now!

  81. Ashley WestCebulski says:

    BAN IT!! For the sake of the animals who firstly inhabited all lands. Cosmetics are NOT utilized in their lives so they should NOT be victim to the cause.

  82. Ana Angel says:

    Its inhumane, unnecessary and cruel. Please stop testing on these innocent creatures. I only buy cruelty free products.

  83. Pam McCaughey says:

    This has been going in waaaay too long and the lab people doing it are capable of murder. All mass human murderers start on mistreating animals. Even the FBI knows this from profiling!

  84. Dan Weeks says:

    This is unnecessary, cruel and uncivilized. Wake up and become human!

  85. Mark Betti says:

    The horrific practice of using innocent animals in laboratory experiments needs to stop. It should have never been started in the first place. These poor terrified animals are subjected to inhumane abuse, toxicity, and murder. And for what? For shallow cosmetic companies to market their superficial products? Millions of animals have already suffered and died for multiple decades! What could possibly be left to test at this point? These heartless laboratory “doctors” must have already gathered all the information they could have ever possibly needed by now. Why must the tests continue? The results are not even accurate when transferred to humans. This has gone on too long and inflicted too much unspeakable suffering, fear, pain, and death on millions of sentient animals. Enough already. More than enough. It needs to stop. And the people who inflict such grotesque testing on animals need to be registered in a database as “Animal Offenders,” just like Sex Offenders. Good people and families have the right to know if animal abusers are in their neighborhoods and who these sickos are.

  86. Tomasita Medál says:

    Please support the ban on animal testing immediately.

  87. Jessi kuntz says:

    Animal testing is barbaric, wrong and inhumane. Why force helpless animals to torture?! The prisons are full of murderers, rapists and abusers. Test on them. It should be an additional punishment to those convicted of animal cruelty charges…

  88. Gina Capitelli says:

    Animal testing is inhumane and sadistic especially for the experimentation of cosmetics. It is causing horrible torture and suffering for no good reason. Please support this ban on animal testing asap.

  89. vivian pifer says:

    It breaks my heart to know what these innocent victims go through unnecessarily. I make sure I buy cosmetics and household products that have not been test on animals… please stop this inhumane practice.

  90. Beth says:

    I don’t buy makeup but I certainly use other hygiene products. I now have a list with me to help me find them. If some companies don’t use animal products AND don’t test on animals I cannot see any reason why they all can’t. Some of the most lucrative companies are doing disgraceful things. Most people don’t look into what they are using just like they really don’t what they eat half the time.

  91. Jeannette Mack says:

    There is no reason to animal test! Please stop! Label your products to use at your own risk. Animals should not be toutured! Use products that do not test on animals!!!!!!

  92. Sylvia Hackett says:

    There is NO reason for animals to be tortured!

  93. Jennifer says:

    I don’t use products from companies that test on animals.

  94. Pat healy says:

    Please stop cosmetic testing on all animals

  95. Natalia Dneprovskaya says:

    People shouldn’t do that to poor animals.
    They have feelings just like us, why hurt them ?

  96. Jessica says:

    Please pass this bill and protect the innocent

  97. I only buy non tested products (including ingredients)

  98. Debbie Bemister says:

    Animal testing/vivisection is the worst abomination that has ever existed in the entire history of the human race. It is the lowest, most perverted act ever committed against innocent sentient beings, and it is a disgrace to humanity.

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