How Involved Should US Federal Agencies Be in the Future of In Vitro Testing?

Conservatives and liberals alike are finding their way into the world of animal rights. With the Obama administration’s 2016 passage of the revised Toxic Substances Control Act and the current legislation on the table, the Humane Cosmetics Act, political momentum stands firmly on the side of animal rights. With money moving away from traditional animal testing methods, donors are looking for new ways to stay in the industry and stay in compliance with new laws.

In vitro testing has been vetted as a low cost, viable alternative to animal testing, and government interests on all sides are looking to use it as an in for continued funding. The race to fund the kingmakers is on, and it is one that animal rights activists should look into with a great deal of interest.

Invariably, when government interests get too involved in a scientific industry, that industry becomes bloated with less efficient research and development methods. The reason that animal rights has been able to move forward so drastically in the United States is because of the vetted success of alternative testing methods like in vitro testing. If budgets become bloated and ROI drops, there is no economic incentive for the cosmetics industry to continue along the same path. Legislation that is considered can easily be reversed – keep in mind that Obama had to revise the Toxic Substances Control Act. Nothing is to say that legislation cannot be revised in the opposite direction as well.

Moving alternative testing methods away from the private market is also moving power away from the dedicated activists that are truly protecting animals. If too much power is invested in politicians to protect animals, the issue will become one of many that move across their desks in any given session. This is guaranteed to produce less productivity in the animal-rights space, as it does with most of the scientific industries that rely too much on Washington.

InVitro International is in full support of moving forward on animal rights legislation. However, we are also incredibly wary of shifting too much of the power into the public sector. The incredible dedication of activists and research of private companies has provided the alternatives that the cosmetics industry is moving into today. There is no reason to fix what isn’t broken.

Legislation to Ban Cosmetic Testing on Animals is Officially on the Table

The United States may finally catch up to the rest of the world when it comes to cosmetic testing on animals. Building on the momentum of Obama signing the revised Toxic Substances Control Act in 2016, some members of Congress have reintroduced the Humane Cosmetics Act to the legislative floor. The Humane Cosmetics Act completely stops any animal testing on ingredients or finished products in the domestic cosmetics industry. It also completely bans cosmetics from other countries that have been tainted with animal testing.

The United States currently lags behind other Western countries on the issue of animal testing. Australia currently became one of the last major cosmetics exporters (excluding the United States) to put forward legislation to ban animal testing, joining New Zealand, Turkey, South Korea, Norway, India, Israel, Taiwan and Brazil. The entire European Union has banned all animal testing since 2004. However, the Humane Society still estimates that upwards of 200,000 animals may still be used to test product every year.

The fight to keep animals safe from the cruelty of cosmetics testing is far from over. However, the United States joining the right side of history is definitely a huge step into a better future. The Humane Society is currently encouraging all animal rights activists to place calls to their legislators in support of the Humane Cosmetics Act.

Experts within the cosmetics industry predict that the US moving away from animal testing will encourage cosmetics manufacturers to pursue alternatives that are actually faster, more reliable and cheaper than animal testing. Cosmetics companies within the United States will also become more competitive in the global cosmetics industry, as they will be adhering more closely to the global standard.

The testing kits created by InVitro International stand as one of the most thoroughly vetted alternatives to animal testing in the industry. We stand in support of the Humane Cosmetics Act. We hope that the United States and other major governments will continue to rally behind the idea that animals do not need to used to test cosmetic products, especially when there are better alternatives.