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August 8, 2013

Miss America 2014 Contestant Calls for an End to Animal Testing for Cosmetics

Miss DC 2013 aims to leave cruelty-free legacy at national pageant

  • Miss DC 2013, Bindhu Pamarthi, signed The HSUS' Be Cruelty-Free pledge to take a stand against animal testing for cosmetics.  Kathy Milani/The HSUS

Bindhu Pamarthi, Miss DC 2013, signed The Humane Society of the United States’ Be Cruelty-Free pledge in an effort to end animal testing for cosmetics in the United States.

Be Cruelty-Free is a global campaign, spearheaded by The HSUS and Humane Society International, that aims to end the use of animals for cosmetics testing worldwide by empowering consumers, working with cosmetic companies and engaging policymakers.

Pamarthi said: “I don’t believe that animals should suffer for the sake of physical beauty. I want to work with the industry from the inside and leave a cruelty-free legacy with the Miss America Pageant.”

Pamarthi applauded the implementation of a cosmetics testing ban in India last month following a high-profile Be Cruelty-Free campaign. She is determined to make the United States the next biggest cruelty-free marketplace by supporting The HSUS’ work and promoting the issue at the 2014 Miss America pageant. She will be compete for the title on Sept. 15 in Atlantic City, NJ.

Pascaline Clerc, senior director of animal research issues at The HSUS, said: “I am amazed by Bindhu’s dedication to ending cosmetics testing on animals. We are grateful to have Miss DC lending her support on this issue and hope her endorsement of our campaign will influence the public to shop cruelty-free and end this outdated practice.”

A nationwide poll conducted by Lake Research Partners earlier this year found that 67 percent of American voters and 72 percent of women polled oppose testing cosmetics on animals.

Consumers who want to help can sign the Be Cruelty-Free pledge at humanesociety.org/becrueltyfree in support of an end to cosmetics animal testing and can choose from companies that are certified by the Leaping Bunny – the most rigorous standard in the U.S. for ensuring cosmetics are cruelty-free.

Background:

  • 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 newly tested on animals. Israel implemented a similar ban on January 1. EU officials are challenging other countries to ban animal testing of cosmetics. On June 28, India put an end to animal testing for 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.

*Media Note: Photos of Pamarthi signing the Be Cruelty-Free pledge are available via the contact below. 

Media Contact:  Niki Ianni: 301-548-7793; nianni@humanesociety.org

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