The Beauty Industry’s Ugly Secret
Animal testing is the ugly secret that the beauty industry would prefer consumers didn’t know about
Have you ever got shampoo in your eyes? Stings, doesn’t it. Or applied perfume to broken skin? Or even accidentally breathed in hairspray? Your skin hurts, your throat burns. Imagine you’re a rabbit, guinea pig or rat in a cosmetics testing laboratory and these aren’t relatively mild finished products, but raw chemicals. If you’re a rabbit having these chemicals dripped in your eye, you have no tear ducts, so you can’t cry out the liquid. If you’re a guinea pig having chemicals spread on your skin, your protective fur has been shaved off and your bare, delicate skin cut so that the chemicals penetrate deeper. If you’re a rat squeezed into a thin tube barely wider than your body, you can feel your eyes smart and your throat burn as the chemical vapours are pumped into the tube, forcing you to breathe them in. Soon you will find it hard to breathe at all.
But Humane Society International’s global Be Cruelty-Free campaign is leading a massive global effort to ban cosmetics animal testing wherever it takes place in the world. We want to turn the whole world cruelty-free — a world where no animal has to suffer for the sake of cosmetic.
HSI’s campaign in India was instrumental in mobilizing support from key Parliamentarians and Legislative Assembly Members to convince India’s Drug Controller to order the deletion of all animal tests from India’s cosmetics standard. Once complete, animal testing for cosmetic products and their ingredients will effectively be banned in India.
India Sales Ban Also Needed
Banning cosmetics animal testing in India is a necessary first step, but it doesn’t stop companies from outsourcing their animal testing to other countries and then importing their newly animal-tested products or ingredients back into India. That’s why India also needs a sales ban — to make it illegal for companies to import or sell cosmetics and ingredients that have been newly animal tested anywhere in the world.
A new amendment requiring registration for import of cosmetics to India will come into effect on April 1, 2013. India should seize the opportunity to ban animal tested products altogether.
Israel and 27 countries in the European Union have stopped animal testing and the sale of animal tested products for cosmetics. India should be next.
Sign the petition to immediately end cosmetics animal testing and ban the import of animal tested beauty products and ingredients in India.
However, this is not the end. Because this action does not prevent companies from outsourcing animal testing to other countries and then importing their newly animal-tested products or ingredients back into India, it is also vital that India enact a sales ban — making it illegal for companies to import or sell cosmetics and ingredients that have been newly animal tested anywhere in the world.
I have learnt that, from April 1, 2013, a new amendment to Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 requiring Registration for Import of cosmetics to India will come into effect. With this in mind, I urge you, on whom the lives of untold thousands of animals and humans depend, to not allow India to be a dumping ground for those cosmetics — whether in the finished form or ingredients — which have been tested on animals. It is essential that countries that do inflict cruelty on animals for the sake of cosmetics not be allowed to profit from India.
Article 51-A (g) of the Constitution makes it my fundamental duty to be compassionate towards other living beings. If the Government of India allows import of cruel animal tested products into our country, it will not only be hurting India’s practice and principle of “Ahimsa” but also be preventing me from fulfilling my duty as an Indian.
For your information, a complete ban on sale and marketing of animal tested products will come into effect in European Union on March 11, 2013. You have a golden opportunity ahead of you: while you are putting an end to the suffering endured by the animals used for cosmetics testing in India, please also do your part to help end this shameful practice in other countries by banning the import and sale of newly animal tested cosmetic ingredients and finished products in India. I sincerely hope you do the right thing for animals — and India.