Earlier this year on March 5th, Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) introduced H.R. 4148, the Humane Cosmetics Act, “to eliminate the use of inhumane animal testing methods in favor of cost effective testing alternatives to keep the cosmetics industry competitive in a changing global market that increasingly requires non-animal safety tests. It would also ensure that only safe products, tested with cutting edge technology, enter the American market”.

Many proponents of the bill believe “Americans deserve to have access to safe and humane products, and there is no compelling need for animal testing for cosmetics” and are optimistic the bill will align the U.S. with the global trend moving away from animal testing.

Official Bill Summary (see full text of bill here)

Humane Cosmetics Act – Prohibits:

  • (1) any entity from conducting or contracting for cosmetic animal testing in the United States, in or affecting interstate commerce, effective on the date that is one year after enactment of this Act; and
  • (2) selling, offering for sale, or transporting in interstate commerce any cosmetic if the final product or any component was developed or manufactured using cosmetic animal testing conducted or contracted for after such date, effective three years after this Act’s enactment.

Issue Research & Background Facts To Support H.R. 4148

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require use of animal testing methods to prove the safety of cosmetics
  • Animal toxicity tests have never been validated by a regulatory body and represent an outdated science of techniques that are not adequate to predict human safety
  • Rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats are used in painful cosmetics tests that usually result in death
  • Currently there are thousands of existing cosmetic ingredients with histories of safe use. These ingredients allow more than 500 cruelty-free companies to innovate while remaining true to their values. For new ingredients, a growing number of proven, non-animal tests are becoming available each year
  • Animal toxicity tests have never been validated by a regulatory body and represent an outdated science of techniques that are not adequate to predict human safety
  • The future of safety testing relies on advanced technologies, including computational and human cell or artificial tissue based models, which are already in use; and are based on human biology and are more predictive of human reactions than animal tests

Likelihood of Passage

As the end 113th Congress nears its unlikely any action will be taken to move the bill out of committee given the upcoming lame duck session and pressing economic and policy priorities taken precedence, such as immigration reform and boarder security . Likewise, any action on the measure in 2015 depends on the ability of animal testing advocates to secure a new bill sponsor as Rep. Moran is retiring from Congress after serving twelve terms.

1938 is the online magazine blog for Well-Kept Beauty, formally entitled Primer.

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