BAN COSMETIC TESTING ON ANIMALS IN CHINA

BAN COSMETIC TESTING ON ANIMALS IN CHINA

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Jennifer Westling started this petition to L'Oreal and

All over the world, animal testing procedures are performed in order to test the safety and quality of various products, medicine and in research. In China, there are laws that require cosmetic companies to test their products on animals to assure consumers that the products are safe for everyday usage. These laws regarding beauty products safety concerns all companies that wish to sell their products on the Chinese market and although it does not require the actual company to perform the animal testing, they are required to pay for the testing procedures. A lot of beauty companies brand themselves as “cruelty free” even though they sell their products on the Chinese market and they can do that because technically they are not the ones performing the animal tests, they are simply paying for it in countries where law requires them to.

 

It is selfish to hurt animals in order to create safe products for humans. From a young age, most of us are taught not to hurt animals or other innocent creatures but that seems to not matter as much when it is for scientific reasons. However, testing various beauty and/or cosmetic products on animals are not for scientific reasons nor for research, it is performed simply for selfish reasons and due to ignorance. Animal testing methods are believed to provide accurate results of a products safety for human consumers, with no regard to how ethically wrong it is to exploit animals in such cruel manner. Last year, L’Oreal came out with a vegan line of makeup products which is ironic due to the fact that the products themselves were tested on animals in China. A part of a “vegan lifestyle” is to not accept animal exploitation of any kind, and animal testing is definitely a violation to animal’s rights. L’Oreal are one of those brands that claims to be anti-animal cruelty but are in fact violating animal rights when and if it is required by law.

 

Animals get hurt, and sometimes die, during the testing processes they are subject to. During these testing procedures, the animals are kept in small spaces, usually in a cage or other confined places. The fact that the animals are not allowed to move freely or have enough space to move at all is very stressing to them, and can cause severe damage to their mental health. In the journal “Ethical and Scientific Considerations Regarding Animal Testing and Research”, Ferdowsian and Beck explain:
“Studies published in the last few decades have dramatically increased our understanding of animal sentience, suggesting that animals' potential for experiencing harm is greater than has been appreciated and that current protections need to be reconsidered. It is now widely acknowledged by scientists and ethicists that animals can experience pain and distress”
Not only can the testing procedures be detrimental to the animals mental health, during the testing processes the animals are injected with and exposed to various chemicals that are not known to be safe for human usage, but the safety of the chemicals are tested on the animals instead. After being exposed to different chemicals, the animals are not necessarily provided with sufficient aftercare, meaning they are likely to suffer until they eventually die. Not only are they not given the aftercare they need, they are generally not provided anesthesia either which means they often have to suffer more than what is necessary. They do not give the animals anesthesia because of two reasons – they want the results to be as “accurate” as possible, and they do not consider how painful the procedures may be for the animals. Animals used for cosmetic testing are generally smaller creatures, like mice, birds and bunnies, and they are not treated with the same amount of respect as other animals (like a dog, for instance) would be. Not to say cosmetic testing procedures are not performed on dogs as well, but it is more common to exploit mice, and other small animals.

 

There are alternative testing procedures that are cheaper to execute and provide more accurate results, but still companies continue to perform cosmetic testing on animals. The non-profit organization Cruelty Free International claims that it might be due to conservatism that people still think that animal testing is easier. Because they have data collected from previous experiments, it may be more convenient for scientists to compare new results to the old results they already have. However, they also claim that most tests performed on animals are not for scientific reasons and the reason it persists is because it is comfortable to keep doing the same tests that have been performed in the past. They also mention that “replacing animal tests does not mean putting human patients at risk” which is a popular belief regarding a shift from animal testing to alternative testing. With that said, banning animal testing does not mean these tests need to be performed on humans – with the advancements made with the development of alternative methods, there are so many different ways to ensure safety for consumers whether it is for cosmetic reasons, or scientific. A few alternatives that has been used for safety testing of cosmetic products are using human tissue donated from volunteers, producing computer models to replicate human organs and then perform virtual experiments, and using actual human volunteers. The latter is only used when it is considered safe to do so. Using these alternative tests provides more accurate result in the reaction(s) a chemical or substance will produce in humans because although we share many similarities with animals, testing various chemicals on animals’ skin or organs will not always give an accurate idea of what will happen when it comes in contact with humans. Cruelty Free International mentions that the standard tests performed on pregnant rats can only detect 60 % of the possibly harmful substances where a cell-based alternative will provide scientists with 100 % accuracy in detecting them.

 

Because of how selfish it is to exploit animals in order to ensure safety for humans, especially considering there is no valid reason to use cosmetic testing on animals any longer due to advancements in alternative testing, there is no reason why animal testing should still occur in China. The laws that require cosmetic companies to pay for the tests in order to sell their products on the Chinese market are not up to date with current advancements in research and they should be banned NOW, not only to save innocent animals lives but to ensure consumer’s safety.

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