Colombia may soon ban animal testing on cosmetics, personal care items, and cleaning products.
The bill, which was introduced to the nation’s Congress last week by House Representative Juan Carlos Losada, calls for a ban on both domestic animal testing practices and the sale of imported products that have been tested on animals. Should the bill pass, Colombia would become the first country in Latin America to see such a ban.
“Colombia is taking its first steps to becoming a leader in Latin America and banning cosmetics testing on animals. With advanced alternatives available and already in use around the world, this historic bill should pass at the earliest opportunity,” said Jan Creamer, President of the nonprofit animal welfare organization, Animal Defenders International (ADI), in a statement.
Losada, who authored the bill, believes that Colombia’s move away from animal testing could also improve its business standing in the international market. “The main purpose of the bill is to stop animal suffering in the cosmetics industry and enable Colombian companies to enter the European market, a region that has for years rejected such tests,” he said.
is animal testing necessary?
Across the globe, the public perception of cosmetic animal testing is changing, with bans in place in nearly 40 countries. In California, the California Cruelty Free Cosmetics Act (SB1249) which is now awaiting approval by the governor, would ban the sale of products that have been tested on animals, including testing on any ingredient used. Canada and New York are also looking to pass similar bills.
The wave of change is largely driven by conscious consumers who are increasingly opting for cruelty-free products. One survey found that almost half of women support a cosmetics animal testing ban. Additionally, UK-based beauty and cosmetics company The Body Shop recently gathered 8 million signatures for their campaign to “end animal testing in cosmetics forever.” The campaign is said to be the largest in history for the cause.
Besides concerns surrounding animal health, evidence suggests that testing products on animals is not an effective method of risk assessment. An article by Forbes pointed out that animal testing — which is also notoriously expensive — accurately predicts human reactions to cosmetics only 40 to 60 percent of the time. Outside of the beauty industry, animal testing for disease research can also be inaccurate. PETA noted that 90 percent of National Institutes of Health animal experiments fail, while 95 percent of pharmaceutical drugs test safely on animals, but then show different results in human trials.