For many years animal testing has been a topic of great debate, with pros and cons of animal testing of cosmetics as well as arguments to back up these theories. Although many major cosmetic companies have claimed to discontinue the practice due to new alternatives, it still continues around the world --- even though the arguments against animal testing for cosmetic purposes seem to outweigh the arguments supporting it.
Moral Arguments Against Animal Testing
Animal rights activists have long argued that any type of animal testing is inhuman and cruel. It is claimed that labs continue to use barbaric methods in testing the animals that lead to its ultimate death within weeks of the test being complete. Further, although there is legislation in place designed to protect these animals while cosmetic testing is performed, cases of abuse continue to be alleged. PETA argues there are more effective and reliable tests without harming animals.
Alternatives to Animal Testing of Cosmetics
Because of many technological advances, there are alternatives for animal testing. EpiSkin, a synthetic skin, has been an accepted alternative to be used in testing cosmetics. Corrositex, a similar synthetic skin akin to a human, which was developed in the United States, has also proved to be a valid and acceptable replacement to animal testing of cosmetics. According to PETA, these methods are said to be more cost effective. Some companies do test their cosmetics on humans and hold clinical trials as well.
Animal Testing Is Not Legally Required
Animal testing of cosmetics is not required under the law. The Food and Drug Administration only requires that a product be adequately safe prior to marketing or state that safety of the product has not been concluded. Further, the testing methods are not determined by the FDA; they are determined by the product manufacturer making the results unreliable.
Arguments for Animal Testing
Some scientists still argue that animal testing of cosmetics is necessary. About Animal Testing claims that acute animal suffering is a myth; that the animals suffering is limited and that isolated instances give a distorted impression of the truth. They further claim that scientists argue that, although there are alternatives, while useful, these alternatives do not provide the scientific significance and animal testing is still needed.