Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Cruelty-free cosmetics legislation in North America!

Posted: 19 March 2014. Updated: 14 September 2018


ADI supports pending legislation in the US and Canada to end animal testing for cosmetics and the sale of animal-tested products.

In the US, the Humane Cosmetics Act (HR2790) would phase out animal testing for cosmetics within three years (no testing after 1 year and no sale or transport of animal-tested products within 3 years). It would prohibit conducting or contracting for animal testing within a year, and the sale and transport of products so tested after three years. The Humane Cosmetics Act is sponsored by US Representative Martha McSally, with 176 bipartisan cosponsors

"Subjecting animals to painful and inhumane testing is not who we are as a country. There’s no reason to continue this cruel practice when we have cost-effective alternatives that can bring about safe products for consumers.” US Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ)

Canada’s Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act (S-214), sponsored by Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen, unanimously passed committee last October and had its third reading before the Senate Chamber in March. S-214 mirrors the similar EU ban, which has worked successfully and influenced change around the world.

“The cruelty-free cosmetics act is a response to the desire of many Canadians to end a practice they find disturbing. Canadian society has moved beyond accepting as a given the necessity of torturing animals for beauty products.” Canada Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen.

ADI investigations expose terrible torment endured by animals in cosmetic testing, including racks of rabbits restrained in stocks while products are dripped into their eyes and guinea pigs suffering raw and inflamed skin lesions. These tests typically involve:

  • Repeat dose toxicity: a product may be pumped down an animal’s throat or applied to its skin, or the animal might be forced to inhale it, to observe chronic, long-term effects on organs.
  • Skin sensitization: may involve abrading the skin and deliberately causing painful damage to assess potential allergic reactions to substances with contact.
  • Carcinogenicity: animals are exposed and monitored for cell changes which could lead to the development of cancer during or after exposure.
  • Reproductive toxicity: animals are exposed to substances before and/or during pregnancy to test for poisonous effects, including its ability to reproduce, as well as damage to the fetus or its development.

The tide is turning; a (2015 Gallup poll) revealed more than two-thirds in the US are “concerned” or “very concerned” about animals suffering in research, with a third saying animals should have the same rights as humans. A 2015 Nielson poll found most consumers considered “not tested on animals” as the most important packaging claim, with 43% willing to pay more for such products. At least 140 personal care products companies have endorsed the Act.

People around the world are turning their backs on these outdated methods. ADI worked for decades with NAVS on the 2013 EU ban; the EU Parliament recently called for a worldwide ban on animal testing for cosmetics. We endorse their call for global change; we support the US Humane Cosmetics Act and Canada’s Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act as well, and urge your support to bring these nations in line with public opinion and nearly 40 countries who’ve banned cruel and needless testing (including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK).

As it stands, cosmetics companies must meet cruelty-free requirements for the 1.5 billion consumers in the global marketplace. Hundreds of cruelty-free cosmetic companies now thrive in North America, and the market increasingly demands humane products.

Take action!

© Animal Defenders International 2018