In the Hot Seat: Pascaline Clerc, Senior Director of Animal Research Issues for The Humane Society of the United States
By Amy Sciaretto
Pascaline Clerc, Senior Director of Animal Research Issues for The Humane Society of the United States, was more than happy to share lots of information with Beauty News NYC about an act that could permanently end animal testing in the cosmetics industry in the U.S.
We invited her to sit In the Hot Seat this month so she could educate us, and our readers, about this act, which will revolutionize the beauty industry.
Clerc is incredibly informed about the act and now you will be, too!
We don’t support beauty industry animal testing – how could anyone, really? Animals are living, breathing, beautiful beings. The industry has come a long, long way; there is no need for animal testing to be an active practice.
This monthly column often features makeup mavens and artists previewing their products or offering tips and tricks. But we felt it was important to give this space and support to a cause that is of critical importance right now; the act and the animals need your support.
It’s 2014 – let’s help make animal testing a thing of the past.
Go ahead, get informed by reading what Clerc had to say!
BN: Can you explain the act and “where” it is in terms of how close to ending animal testing, in layman’s terms so our readers understand it and its impact?
PC: The Humane Cosmetics Act, H.R. 4148 would end the manufacture and sale of animal-tested cosmetics in the U.S., and companies would not be able to make cosmetics in the U.S. by testing the safety of a product or its ingredients on animals. This also means cosmetics tested on animals could not be sold in the U.S., so companies outside of the U.S. wishing to sell here would need to make their products cruelty-free.
Under this legislation, companies will have one year from the time the bill is enacted to adopt the use of advanced non-animal alternatives for cosmetics testing, and there will be a three-year period before the prohibition on the sale of products or ingredients tested on animals in the U.S. takes effect. A company in violation of any provision in the proposed bill would be fined up to $10,000 for each instance or for each animal.
The Humane Cosmetics Act was introduced on March 5, 2014, by Jim Moran, D-VA Michael Grimm, R-NY. The bill has 22 co-sponsors and has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. We are pleased to see bipartisan support for the bill and will continue to encourage support for the bill’s passage.
Please support legislation to end cosmetics testing on animals by urging your representatives to cosponsor the Humane Cosmetics Act.
BN: From your perspective, is animal testing still super prevalent in the beauty business? It seems like most companies have gone cruelty-free –thankfully– and it saddens us to think that all of them haven’t!
PC: There are more than 500 cosmetics brands in North America that do not test final products, formulations or ingredients on animals, and this number is growing.
On March 11, 2013, the European Union finalized a ban on using animal tests to determine the safety of cosmetics by also banning the sale of cosmetics tested on animals. This ban made the EU the world’s largest cruelty-free cosmetics marketplace, and compelled American cosmetics companies and others around the world to end animal testing to be able to sell in the EU.
A similar ban has also been enacted in Israel, and laws have been implemented in India to prohibit animal tests.. In Brazil, a ban on animal testing has been implemented in the State of Sao Paulo, and the Brazilian regulatory body, CONCEA, is considering a national ban.
The Humane Cosmetics Act would harmonize our regulations with countries already embracing the use of alternative testing methods. It would also put pressure on countries wanting to remain competitive in the market, but are reluctant to give up the use of outdated and inhumane methods.
BN: How can the public educate themselves about cruelty-free products and how to make the active and conscious switch to a cruelty-free regimen?
PC: Check out our “Be Cruelty-Free” interactive infographic explaining the issue of cosmetics animal testing and how to take action to end it. You can also view The Humane Society of the United States’ cruelty-free shopping guide.
BN: Can you share some tips or resources on how to transition to cruelty-free beauty products?
PC: The Be Cruelty-Free campaign is striving for the day when consumers can pick up any cosmetic product and know it is safe to use and cruelty-free. Until that day, the “Be Cruelty-Free” campaign urges consumers to use their buying power as their voice and to shop cruelty-free.
You can shop cruelty-free by purchasing only cosmetics and personal care products from companies that do not test on animals. Many mainstream retailers now carry cruelty-free beauty products; you just have to choose wisely. Although it may seem daunting to ditch some of your favorite beauty products, The HSUS’ “Be Cruelty-Free USA” campaign is offering four tips for how to effortlessly transition to a cruelty-free beauty regime.
Grab a guide and look for the Leaping Bunny: Want to know which products are tested on animals and which are not? A good place to start is the Leaping Bunny guide, a list of cruelty-free brands selling cosmetic, personal care, household and pet care products that have met the criteria of a rigorous, internationally-recognized cruelty-free standard. Some of these products carry the Leaping Bunny logo, making it even easier to tell if a product is animal-friendly. Get a free guide now! » Download the app for iPhone/iPad or Android » Print the PDF version
Start sleuthing: If a brand you’re considering is not on the Leaping Bunny list, call the toll-free number on the package or contact the company through its website and ask if its products or ingredients used are tested on animals at any stage in the manufacturing process. You should also ask if the company sells its products in China, a country that requires animal testing of cosmetics.
Leverage your legislators: The Humane Cosmetics Act, H.R. 4148, would end cosmetics testing on animals in the U.S. Ask your representative to co-sponsor this groundbreaking legislation. » Take action
Get the facts: To learn more about animal testing, check out the following resources:
» Be Cruelty-Free Campaign (United States) (International)
» Infographic: Creating a Cruelty-Free World, Ending Animal Testing for Cosmetics
» Cosmetic and Product Testing Homepage
» Fact Sheet: Cosmetic Testing
» Cosmetics Tests That Use Animals
» AltTox.org, a collaborative website for scientists and policy-makers
BN: Any favorite cruelty-free products that you can suggest? Perhaps that can inspire our readers to use them!
PC: There are many fantastic products sold by companies on the Leaping Bunny list. The Humane Society of the United States partnered with Vegan Cuts to offer a limited-edition “Be Cruelty-Free” beauty box with full-sized samples of cruelty-free products. Get the Be Cruelty-Free beauty box here. You can also view companies that have pledged support to the Be Cruelty-Free campaign here.