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Business ethics, my dilemma: Cosmetic testing on animals

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  1. Introduction
  2. Dilemma description
    1. Cosmetic testing on animals
    2. The two main tests: Draize Test and LD 50
    3. The possible alternatives
  3. Stakeholder map
  4. Ethical discussion
    1. The advantages of the cosmetic animal testing
    2. The disadvantages of the cosmetic animal testing
    3. The big debate
  5. Personal view
  6. Conclusion
  7. Bibliography

Cosmetics are used daily by millions of people, and include a vast range of products such as shampoo, makeup, moisturizer, perfume, etc. Approximately 38,000 animals are used every year across the EU to test new ingredients and products. And in the world, cosmetics companies kill millions of animals every year to test their products. These companies claim they test on animals to establish the safety of their products and ingredients for consumers. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require animal testing for cosmetics, and alternative testing methods are widely available and lead to more reliable results. Hundreds of companies ? including Avon, The Body Shop and Mary Kay ? already use humane non-animal testing methods to ensure the safety of their cosmetics.

When most people go to the store to purchase cosmetics and household cleaners they usually don't put too much thought into it. Most people do not realize that 14 million animals die and suffer each year for these products that are almost meaningless to humans.

Cosmetic animal testing is a very big problem that gets greatly overlooked. It is a problem that has lasted for centuries. As a matter of fact, according to the All for Animals Newsletter, animal testing on cosmetics goes way back to the seventeenth century when animals were believed to feel no pain.

[...] All of these tests are done on live, feeling animals without benefit of anesthesia or supportive medical care. Other tests, such as the LD-50, would administer a Lethal Dose of some substance to 50% of the animals in the test. The remaining 50% were observed and evaluated and ultimately killed and autopsied. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require animal testing to determine product safety, standards have been developed based on historical data. Some companies find it difficult to trust these surrogate methods. [...]


[...] Statistics also points out the fact that 75% of the Americans are against cosmetic testing on animals and many companies have adopted more human ways of cosmetic testing due to the popular public demand. The finished cosmetic products are no longer being tested on animals as they are tested on the human volunteers. The advantages of the cosmetic animal testing The cosmetic companies point out the following benefits for cosmetic testing on animals: Protecting the human health and safety: The companies claim that protecting human health is the main reason for carrying out the cosmetic testing on animals. [...]


[...] ( Consumer's Associations, associations for the animals Consumer's Associations and associations in general play an important role to fight cosmetic testing on animals. There are a lot of associations around the world. A wide range of minority viewpoints exist as well. Supporters of animal rights, argue that any benefits to human beings cannot outweigh the suffering of the animals, and that human beings have no moral right to use an individual animal in ways that do not benefit that individual. [...]

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