Five more states are set to approve legislation banning the sales of new products tested on animals, joining three states – California, Illinois and Nevada – that have already enacted similar legislation. The five states on the cusp of enacting new laws include New Jersey, Maryland, New York, Virginia and Hawaii, with more states expected to introduce or pass similar legislation in the coming months.
Legislative efforts have gained significant support not only among animal rights groups, but among consumers of all ages as well. As more states join the cause, industry analysts say pressure is being brought to bear on the U.S. to pass a nationwide ban on the sales of new cosmetics products if they or their ingredients were tested on animals.
About 40 countries worldwide have passed national bans on the sales of new products that use those testing methods, including every member of the European Union, which enacted its own law in 2013, citing the inhumane, cruel and painful treatment of the animal subjects. But the real impetus behind the legislation domestically and internationally is the availability of tests that don’t use animals. These in vitro tests use cells, tissue samples and other methods to yield results that are just as accurate – or even more so – than the tests used on live animal subjects. Plus, in vitro tests are also cost-effective, making them an easy and obvious choice for today’s cosmetics manufacturers facing an ever-more competitive marketplace.
Many cosmetics companies, including higher-end, boutique brands, have already adopted anti-cruelty policies of their own, appealing to consumers who no longer want the burden of suffering or the negative stigma attached to products that use animal testing. Entire brands have based their philosophies and their marketing efforts on raising awareness of the testing methods traditionally used in the manufacturing of cosmetics and personal products like shampoos and body washes. Those efforts have paid off in terms of a growing market share compared with brands that still use animal testing. Companies that fall behind in adopting newer, cruelty-free methods stand to not only lose huge shares of customers and revenues, but to earn a lot of negative publicity compared to their competitors.
Embraced by industry leaders
Although much of the cruelty-free movement originated with smaller brands who made banning animal testing part of their branding effort, today even major cosmetics and personal care brands are joining the effort, including cosmetics giant CoverGirl. Brands that adhere to a non-animal testing policy sport the coveted leaping bunny logo or similar designations that set their products apart. Popular websites like Cruelty Free Kitty maintain updated lists of brands that don’t use animal testing, making it easy for consumers to find the products they want – and to ignore those that still use animal testing or that import products tested on animals.
So far, outside of the U.S., the biggest hurdle these manufacturers have to overcome is China, which has steadfastly maintained its use of live animal tests on cosmetics and personal care products, despite the availability of less costly in vitro methods. The U.S. has been contemplating a national ban on the sale of new animal-tested cosmetics products since 2014, with support on both sides of the aisle. This past November, the Personal Care Products Council (the nation’s leading cosmetics trade group) gave its support and backing to the legislation, helping eliminate concerns lawmakers may have regarding marketplace opposition.
Making the switch
InVitro International has a history of providing the cosmetics and personal care industry with state-of-the-art in vitro testing aimed at providing the most accurate results without cruel animal experiments. In addition to two patented methods, Irritection® and Corrositex®, our dedicated team can help companies convert their existing lab facilities or perform off-site testing using the latest guidelines and regulations for total peace of mind. To learn more about InVitro International’s products and services, give us a call at 800-246-8487 or use our online form to get in touch today.