March 12, 2013
New Poll Shows Majority of Americans Strongly Oppose Animal Testing for Cosmetics
Global campaign seeks to raise awareness about animal testing and harness the power of consumers to end the cruelty
An end to animal testing of cosmetics is the goal of the inaugural Be Cruelty-Free Week, launched by The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. The global campaign urges consumers to get involved in creating a humane economy – both with their pocketbooks and the power of their voices. A nationwide poll conducted by Lake Research Partners found that 67 percent of American voters oppose testing cosmetics on animals.
The launch of Be Cruelty-Free Week coincides with a European Union ban on selling cosmetics newly tested on animals anywhere in the world. The HSUS and Humane Society Legislative Fund are building partnerships with scientists, government officials, and industry leaders to make the United States the next biggest cruelty-free market.
“While policy is important, consumers can act now to help animals by purchasing cruelty-free products and demanding that cosmetic companies go cruelty-free,” said Pascaline Clerc, senior director of animal research issues for The HSUS. “As these poll results demonstrate, U.S. companies still conducting tests on animals need to move away from these practices given the public’s concern for animal suffering and human safety.”
Key findings of the poll include:
- 68 percent of voters know that animals are used to test the safety of cosmetics.
- Three in four voters say that they would feel safer, or as safe, if non-animal methods were used to test the safety of a cosmetic instead of animal testing.
- Women, who are the major consumers of cosmetics, largely oppose animal testing of cosmetics, with 72 percent of those polled opposed.
- Most women - 70 percent - think animal testing of cosmetics should be illegal.
- Strong majorities of women think animal testing of cosmetics should be illegal, regardless of age, level of education or ethnicity.
The survey of 802 U.S. registered voters, including 206 via cell phone, was conducted by Lake Research Partners from Feb. 5 - 11, 2013, and was commissioned by The HSUS and HSLF. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.47 percent. The questions and results can be viewed here.
Join the Be Cruelty-Free campaign
The HSUS encourages consumers to sign the Be Cruelty-Free pledge at humanesociety.org/becrueltyfree.
Since it can be confusing for consumers to make sense of the animal testing claims on products, consumers should buy cosmetics from companies that are certified by the Leaping Bunny – which provides the most rigorous standard in the U.S. for ensuring cosmetics are cruelty-free.
- The Food and Drug Administration does not require animal testing to prove the safety of cosmetics and personal care products such as lipstick, nail polish, eye and facial make-up, shampoo, skin creams and shaving cream, yet some cosmetics companies are still testing ingredients and finished products on animals, or purchasing new chemical ingredients from companies that carry out such testing.
- Animal testing for cosmetics causes tens of thousands of rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats to suffer through painful experiments that often end in death.
- Experiments can include skin and eye irritation tests where chemicals are rubbed onto the shaved skin or dripped into the eyes of restrained rabbits without any pain relief. Other tests involve force feeding chemicals for weeks to months, and widely condemned lethal dose tests, in which animals are forced to swallow large amounts of a test chemical to determine the dose that causes death.
- On March 11, the European Union became a cruelty-free marketplace by implementing a ban on the sale of cosmetic products tested on animals. Israel implemented a similar ban on January 1. EU officials are challenging other countries to ban animal testing of cosmetics.
- Companies can stop animal testing immediately and still produce new products by using the thousands of ingredients that have already been proven safe. New ingredients can be tested using validated non-animal methods, including innovative technologies like lab-made human tissues. These alternatives offer results that are more relevant to people, more efficient and cost-effective, replacing outdated animal tests that were developed decades ago.
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