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Ask the FDA to Support Non-Animal Test Methods

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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the US agency that oversees cosmetics safety. The FDA doesn't introduce legislation to Congress; rather, it implements the laws that Congress passes, usually by issuing guidelines and regulations. Although the FDA doesn't introduce legislation to Congress, it does have influence.

Context: FDA's recent actions

In summer 2013, the FDA entered into negotiations with the two major cosmetics industry trade groups and some public advocacy groups. The goal was to develop principles that legislators could craft into legislation. The negotiations included the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, the group promoting previous (2013) legislation that would impose animal testing on all cosmetic ingredients. Animal groups were excluded from the negotiations. The negotiations ultimately formed the framework for the Personal Care Products Safety Act (S. 1014), introduced Apr 20, 2015, by Sens. Dianne Feinstein D-CA and Susan Collins R-ME. Animal welfare groups ultimately were asked for reaction after the legislation was drafted. The reaction was mainly disappointment: The legislation allowed animal tests of cosmetics and did not require the use of available alternatives.

The fact that the FDA excluded animal welfare groups in negotiations while including the group promoting animal testing signals that they think animal testing is not a significant public concern. It's important to write the FDA, to let them know you do not want animal testing of cosmetics.

When writing, it's important to understand that the FDA takes its responsibility for our safety very seriously. If they propose animal tests for new ingredients, like nanoparticles, it's because they believe those tests are the best way to protect our safety at this time. What they may not understand is that we would rather they just halt the use of that ingredient until its safety can be determined without sacrificing animals. Tell the FDA we want them to lead the US to a future without animal testing, not to more animal testing.

Here is a sample letter to the FDA. The commissioner of the FDA is Dr. Robert M. Califf, so the sample letter is addressed to Dr. Califf. You can use this letter for ideas, but it's best to write your own letter. You can email him and the FDA in general at

Sample Letter to FDA

Dr. Robert M. Califf, Commissioner
US Food & Drug Administration

Dear Dr. Califf,

Thank you and the FDA for all your work to ensure the safety of my cosmetics. I am writing to express my hope that the FDA will aggressively promote non-animal methods for safety testing, both for moral reasons and for our own safety. A more aggressive stance by the FDA will accelerate the development of alternative methods that are widely expected to be superior.

The Wall Street Journal reported on FDA negotiations with the cosmetics industry, including negotiations about safety testing. The FDA also released public letters about these negotiations when they broke down. I understand your negotiations ultimately resulted in a framework for cosmetics legislation that would allow animal testing and would not require non-animal methods even when they are available and provide equivalent safety information. I urge the FDA to aggressively support alternative, non-animal methods in any further negotiations going forward.

The EU, India, and other countries have banned animal testing of cosmetics and cosmetics ingredients, so it clearly is possible to have cosmetics without animal testing. Maybe that means we can't have all the novel new ingredients, but many of us would rather not have those ingredients until they can be evaluated without sacrificing animals. Please lead the FDA and the US to a future without animal testing of cosmetics, a better future for all of us.

[Your name]

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Notice: This site was developed and is hosted by White Rabbit Beauty, LLC, a retailer, as part of a broader public goal to make cruelty free products more accessible. We strive to make this an independent resource for cruelty free consumers. Here, we take the consumer's point of view, enabling you to find the best cruelty free products at the best prices at as many stores as possible. The site also has a direct advocacy role, providing news and information to help you take action to end animal testing.