Product Testing: Toxic And Tragic

Product Testing: Toxic and Tragic
by the PETA Organization
PETA, 1999
This is an article written by one of the most passionate and reliable sources of
animal rights, called PETA (People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals). I do not want
to dumb down the information in this article, but I will try not to drone on. This article
speaks of how people test cosmetics on animals, the ethics of it and alternatives to product
testing on animals.

First, there are test called “Eye Irritancy Tests”. These tests find out whether
products used for or near the eyes will hurt one’s eyes. These animals, usually rabbits, are
first locked into these headlocks where their heads protrude out and their bodies behind.

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Then, without using any form of anesthesia, the product, whether it be liquid or powder, is
literally dropped in these rabbit’s eyes. They hold open the eyes of the rabbit with some
sort of hook. Then they record the results of these tests such as: inflammation, bleeding
and deterioration. The rabbits often break their necks trying to get free from these locks.

Next their is an “Acute Toxicity Test”, performed on a group of test animals
ranging in size. Usually what they will do is force a tube into the animal’s stomachs or cut
a hole into their throats. Then they will force a substance in through those ways. Other
options are that they could inject the fluid through the skin or a vein. These tests are to see
how these fluids would effect humans. The scientists look for results like: bleeding,
diaherra, convulsions and skin eruptions. There is also another test linked to this one
called the “Lethal Dose Test”. These tests are unreliable.

The article then tells of how these methods are legal, but very lethal for animals. In
this section such controversies like how “the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
requires only that each ingredient in a cosmetics product be “adequately substantiated for
safety” prior to marketing or that the product carry a warning label indicating that its
safety has not been determined.” Which means these test results do not guarantee our
safety. Testing on animals could be completely bogus for are we know.

There are alternatives to animal testing. For seven years, the cruelty-free company
petitioned the American Dental Association gave a seal of approval to Tom’s of Maine
toothpaste’s. Toothpaste companies (like Proctor and Gamble) were performing lethal
tests on rats in order to be eligible for the ADA seal. The scientists would brush rat’s teeth
for more than a month, then kill the animals and examine their teeth under a microscope.

But Tom’s of Maine toothpaste’s talked to these scientists and made some fluoride tests
that could safely be conducted on human volunteers. The ADA eventually accepted it in
1995. Bold moves like these pave the way for newer and more ethical tests.

Finally, this article states how we can help stop animal testing. Even a survey
found that seventy-five percent of American’s find animal testing unethical. If we want to
stop animal testing, this article urges us to write letters and get involved with the
government. That is the only way to make a difference.