A World View of Animal Testing Alternatives
Most cosmetic manufacturers have responded to the controversy by stopping, or at least claiming they have stopped animal testing. Furthermore, the Food and Drug Administration does not require animal testing for general personal care, cosmetics or household cleaning products.
However, regulations and consumer protection laws do require testing on certain cosmetic products to ensure safety and nontoxicity with federal safety rules. Consider the popular cosmetic drug Botox. According to a 2008, Washington Post article titled "In U.S., Few Alternatives to Testing on Animals", the US manufacturer behind the drug, tests for the correct human dosage of each batch, by injecting it into lab mice. What constitutes a correct dose? - One that kills half the mice injected.
In the European Union, the practice of testing cosmetic ingredients on animals is being gradually phased out and a near complete ban will be in place within the next few years. The European Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Methods, (ECVAM) is responsible for researching alternatives to animal testing. Currently over 30 alternative tests have been developed. The concern over what other ways are there to test products instead of animal testing, have also prompted bans on cosmetic animal testing in the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Even if a company does not conduct animal testing, they may still purchase ingredients tested on animals from another company or conduct animal experiments by outsourcing the task to a laboratory. Companies that do not test on animals will usually have this information included somewhere on the products label. The product may state "cruelty free" or "not tested on animals" To find out if products are really cruelty free, sites like CaringConsumer.com can be used.