Cosmetic Animal Testing

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Skye Meadows
English 101
4/1/2012
Cosmetic Animal Testing: Scientifically and Unethically Inaccurate Animal testing is still done by cosmetic companies even though it is unethical and scientifically inaccurate. The various tests carried out on animals is not a guarantee for using cosmetics on our skin since animals react differently to certain chemicals as compared to humans. Cosmetics companies kill millions of animals every year in pursuit of profit. The animals that suffer and die in these laboratories range from rabbits to mice. According to companies that perform such tests, they are done to establish the safety of products and ingredients. However, no law requires that cosmetics products be tested on animals. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “urges cosmetic manufacturers to conduct whatever tests are appropriate to establish that their cosmetics are safe” but “does not specifically mandate animal testing for cosmetic safety.” Likewise, products regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) do not have to be tested on animals. A summary of the CPSC’s animal-testing policy, as published in the Federal Register, states that “it is important to keep in mind that neither the FHSA [Federal Hazardous Substances Act] nor the Commission’s regulations require any firm to perform animal tests. The statute and its implementing regulations only require that a product be labeled to reflect the hazards associated with that product.” ("Cosmetics.") There are many different procedures that cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies initiate to test their ingredients on animals. It is estimated that 2 to 4 million animals, including cats, dogs, rodents, monkeys, and others, are tortured in laboratories each year in the United States. Alix Fano, the Director of the Campaign for Responsible Transplation, describes how tests such as the chemical ingestion tests usually cause the organs to become damaged and dysfunctional. He also gives further examples including spinal cord injection testing, where scientists will first intentionally paralyze the animal, and then attempt to undo the damage, but usually fail and the subject is permanently paralyzed. The major tests cosmetic companies do animal testing is for eyes and skin irritation, toxicity and Lethal Dose 50 percent, inhalation test for perfumes. Draize (eye) injection tests attempt to cure blindness or eye disorders, but almost always leave the animal completely blind. However, what is the point of this if the testing on eyes is faulty and caustic chemicals can be determined by chemistry. Humans can easily determine that a chemical is bad for the eyes simply by studying the pure chemistry involved. Neurotoxicity and lethal dosage tests purposely inject the animal with deadly chemicals to see how much it can endure before convulsing or dying. Lethal dose is the most common form of animal-poisoning study. Scientists actually use deadly chemicals on purpose to see what effect it will have on the animal, causing extreme suffering for the subject and leaving it either disfigured or dead. “Test animals may develop tumors or other nasty conditions and are often killed intentionally at some point in the test so scientists can examine the animal’s innards for signs of damage” (“Manimal and the Cosmetics”). This inexplicit harm to animals is meaningless and cruel, producing results that are often not applicable to human advancements, because animals have different genetic compositions and respond to chemicals in ways that greatly contrast the effects seen on human subjects. A multitude of available alternatives for animal testing are both more sensible and efficient. Another kind of test performed to establish what skin care products are safe for humans which is called the skin irritancy test. This is a process that involves shaving the animals and placing chemicals on their raw bare skin and covering the skin with adhesive plaster. The animals become immobilized in...
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