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New America

My brother frantically called me on Friday to let me know my dad had found my blog, so let me start this post off by saying Hi Dad, this one is for you!

During the last two weeks of my internship, when I had nothing to do and my entire department was gone for vacations, I spent my nine hours a day scrolling through websites like Vogue, Elle, PureWow, and Refinery29. While doing so, I came across an article on the latter site entitled “The New Reality of Animal Testing in Trump’s America,” written by sustainability journalist Ashlee Piper. A link to read the article in its entirety will be linked below, but I was shocked by some of the things I read and wanted to decompress.

Obviously, the nature of animal testing has become increasingly mainstream, with more and more individuals becoming aware that this sort of practice is still alive and kicking, and utilized by many top companies around the world. However, in these discussions, most people, including myself, are quick to jump right to China, as it is a country that legally requires companies to test on animals if they plan to sell in the mainland markets.

However, within this article, Piper points out that animal testing is NOT illegal in the United States. I mean sure, I knew about biomedical testing for pharmaceuticals, but I suppose my naivety shows in that I never really considered the legality of testing in this country for cosmetic sales. While many companies producing and selling within the United States don’t test on animals, including some big businesses that aren’t considered cruelty free due to their sales in overseas markets where it is required, the horizon doesn’t show any signs of shifts in terms of banning this form of testing.

Our new president has already proved himself to be one who doesn’t care about anything other than undoing the work of our last president and implementing laws and regulations that are going to help him and his friends and family. Part of this includes taking down information regarding climate change, pulling the country out of the Paris Accords, the albeit short-lived lifting of the Trophy Ban, and even permitting the USDA to delete inspection reports related to the Animal Welfare Act.

Some of Trump’s (or as I like to call him, Don Cheeto) biggest supporters are pharmaceutical and chemical companies, long known to test on animals. Although not directly tied into cosmetic sales, as Piper points out, these companies know that once regulations start tightening up around the cosmetic use of animal testing, biomedical regulations are quick to follow. As such, these large companies got in early to fund Don Cheeto’s campaigns most likely in exchange for halting progress towards regulating these practices that have long proved ineffective.

Later on in the article, Piper goes on to state that, “…the marketing lingo around animal testing on packaging is relatively unregulated in the U.S…” While I don’t necessarily have concrete examples of this, many companies have taken the steps to become PETA and Leaping Bunny certified in order to help consumers find products that denounce animal testing.

Although animal testing, especially within the United States, is not often talked about whenever news stations are discussing the future of this current presidency, it will be interesting to see what other policies are enacted or lifted that could potentially shift the nature of animal testing within this country as a whole. However, the future itself is not so bleak, as lobbyists have already pushed Congress to look at bills such as The Humane Cosmetics Act, which might make huge progress towards getting passed, especially as we turn towards upcoming elections which may turn places like the House and Congress into being overwhelmingly Democrat (but I really don’t know anything about politics so like don’t quote me here). Until next time, XOXO.

The link to view Ashlee Piper’s full article for Refinery29:

http://www.refinery29.com/animal-testing-cosmetics-trump-policies

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