Federal Legislation

Federal: Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Act Urges Use of Alternatives to Animal Testing

Name: Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Act Urges Use of Alternatives to Animal Testing
Number: HR 1385

A bill has been introduced in the U.S. House by Representative Jan Schakowsky that would require cosmetics manufacturers to register with the federal government and sets out the standards for full disclosure in labeling the ingredients on packaging as well as safety information for potentially harmful ingredients. This legislation would require manufacturers to provide safety reports on all ingredients and final products as part of their licensing process. One matter of concern is the use of nanomaterials in personal care products, especially cosmetics, for which specific hazards of long-term use are as yet unknown. Another issue is the establishment of a system for notification and recall of adulterated or misbranded cosmetic products.

One section of this bill, Section 624, specifically addresses the issue of animal testing on cosmetics. According to this section, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall require, where practicable:

  • Alternative testing methods that do not use an animal to test the chemical substance;
  • Information that is equivalent or superior in scientific quality to animal testing data; and
  • Use of fewer animals than conventional animal-based tests when non-animal tests are impractical.

    The Secretary shall also encourage:

  • Estimations of toxicological properties of a chemical through the use of testing information based on other structurally similar chemicals;
  • The formation of an industry consortia to conduct testing to avoid duplication of tests; and
  • Funding for research and validation of alternative test methods.

    Finally, this section would require the Secretary to compile and publish a list of alternative testing methods available within a year of passage.

    However there are concerns that the required safety tests would actually increase the number of animals being used while companies scramble to provide test data that they had never before been asked to collect. This is a legitimate concern and must be addressed before support can be given to this legislation.

    Call to action:

      1. Please contact your U.S. Representative and urge him/her to support this legislation, but only after amending it to address serious concerns that it will entail the use of a large number of animals instead of relying on non-animal alternatives for safety tests.
      2. Spread the word! Share this page with your social network.

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