L’Oréal Partners With EPA to Stop Chemical Testing
For years the testing of cosmetics on animals has been under fire by groups and individuals around the world. The ethical and emotional debates aside, testing on animals is not only bad PR, but it just may be more hassle than its worth. Good news for the critters, the French cosmetic giant L’oreal made an announcement Monday (March 12th 2012) in San Francisco that with the support of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the beauty leader hopes to render animal experimentation obsolete.
Granted it is going to take sometime before testing can be without the use of animals, L’oreal has committed $1.2 million dollars to the EPA in order to create computer models measure and tests the toxicity of particular chemicals that may be used.
“Using state-of-the art methods, we hope to show that products can be proven safe for the consumer without the use of animals,” said Jared Blumenfeld, regional EPA administrator.
The new system is called ToxCast, and uses a series of complex mathematical algorithms to determine if a particular product may be harmful or dangerous to consumers. Once the system is up and running, animals would no longer be necessary, but Monica Linnenbrink, an EPA spokeswoman was quick to point out that the research data needed to verify and the test the accuracy of the system comes from previous tests conducted on the very animals they hope to liberate. L’Oreal will be providing the EPA with results of animal testing for 20 chemicals currently unavailable to the EPA’s computer model so they may test their animal-free method.
“We have a set of data from years of annual tests,” said Patricia Pineau, scientific communication director for L’Oreal. Some groups applauded the announcement while others said it wasn’t enough.
“We fully support creating alternatives to animal-based toxicity tests,” said Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics coalition, a group that advocates toxin-free cosmetics. “It’s critical for this to be an open and transparent process and for public-interest groups to have a seat at the table.”
Jessica Sandler, director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ regulatory testing division, said L’Oreal could do more to eliminate animal testing now.
“Animals’ lives are worth more than hair color and another shade of lipstick,” she said. “There’s hundreds of companies that have managed to market their products without animal testing (and) their products are safer” because of it.
It should come as no surprise that polls taken by consumers expressed a sense of relief and appreciation of L’oreal’s on going efforts towards the ethical treatment of animals.
“It’s great. I wish more (cosmetic) companies would do that,” said Sheena Medeiros, 27, in downtown San Fran as she perused the cosmetics department at Nordstrom. “L’Oreal has a lot of influence over other companies right now.”