Animal Testing Education
We're not just here to sell some cool organic skin products, we're here to change the entire industry, and just maybe even the world. One of our favorite organizations, The Beagle Freedom Project, dedicates their time and resources to rescuing animals from experimentation in research laboratories around the globe, and give them a chance at life in a loving home. This is extrememly important to us, as we both have the same passion and goal – to ultmately end animal testing for good.
Why beagles? They are called Beagle Freedom Project because approximately 70,000 dogs are used in testing labs every year and roughly 96% are beagles. Beagles are the most popular breed used in labs because they are docile, loving and forgiving. However BFP rescues all types of animals from testing labs. BFP rehabiliates these animals, fosters them, and places them in loving homes.
These animals are known only as numbers. They are intentionally not given names. They are only known by the federal identification number tatooed in their ear. They are given "laboratory chow" which is "made to produce the least amount of waste," so that workers don't have to clean up as much. the beagles, even as young as 9 months old, have teeth rotting and falling out because of their poor nutrition.
They have never been outdoors. They are given no enrichment and are not allowed to communicate with one another. They have never felt the sunshine, felt the grass under their paws, or been able to run.
Literally. Their vocal cords are cut in the majority of labs so that the people working inside the labs are not "disturbed" by the sounds of the dogs begging for their freedom and screaming in pain. Another reason they are cut is to eliminate any communication between the dogs. They can sometimes see each other, but they can't communicate, a vital survival mechanism for all living beings.
The Failure of Animal Testing
106,000 People die every year from products tested safe on animals. Not only is animal testing inhumane; it is inherently inaccurate. For example, LD (lethal dose) tests do not measure human health hazards, but only determine how toxic the product is to the type of animal it was tested on. Test results cannot be extrapolated from a mouse to a rat, let alone from a rat to a human. Each species reacts differently to various substances. Less than 2% (1.16%) of human illnesses are ever seen in animals. Moreover, LD test results can be affected by the age and sex of the animals tested, their housing and nutritional conditions and how the compound is administered.
Beagle Freedom Project's Top 10 Animal Testing Disasters
1. An experimental immune stimulant codenamed TGN1412 nearly killed six people during human clinical trials in 2006 when is cause catastrophic organ failure. The drug was shown "safe" based on tests both primates and rodents. The monkeys were able to safelt handle doses up to 500 times greater than those administered to humans.
2. After it was tested on animals and deemed "safe," Vioxx was approved by the FDA in 1999 for treating arthritis and acute pain. Almost immediately, clinical research began to show an increased risk of heart attack and stroke for those who took the drug , but it's manufacturer, Merck, downplayed the human data because the tests done on beagles and monkeys did not demonstrate cardiovascular risk. Vioxx was eventually recalled in 2004 after the evidence of it's harmfulness became overwhelming.
3. Penicillin was the first effective antibiotic and it was a revolutionary drug that has saved countless lives. But when Alexander Fleming first tested penicillin in rabbits in 1929, the drug had no observed therapeutic effect, so this life-saving drug was shelved for more than a decade. Today we know that rabbits don't absorb penicillin in the same way humans do. Howard Florey, eventually conducted the first clinical trials of penicillin in the early 1940's, and he later observed that it was fortunate that penicillin was not first given to guinea pigs, as the drug is lethal to that species and researchers may have been hesitant of trying the drug in humans at all.
4. Dr. Albert Sabin, who developed the oral polio vaccine, testified before Congress in 1984 that development of the vaccine "was long delayed by an erroneous conception of the nature of the human disease based on misleading experimental models of the disease in monkeys." This is because monkeys contract the virus nasally, whereas in humans, the virus enters through the mouth . This led researchers down a blind alley during a time when the polio epidemic in the United States was at it's peak.
5. Even though clinical and epidemiological data showed a clear link between smoking and lung cancer, regulatory authorities did not officially acknowledge this link for years in part because it is difficult to reproduce these cancers in laboratory animals. Even today, tobacco corporations continue to fund cruel and pointless smoking experiments on animals.
6. Benoxaprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug marketed in the U.S. as Oraflex, was shown in tests to be safe and effective in rats, but after it was released on to the market, it was fatally toxic to people and it was almost immediately withdrawn. We now know that Benoxaprofen is toxic to human livers in a way not seen in any other species.
7. Based almost entirely on "promising" tests on mice, Elan Corporation started a human clinical trial of an experiemental drug known as AN-1792 for treating Alzheimer's disease. Tragically, the clinical trial had to be abruptly halted in 2002 when participants suffered from severe inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. Writing in Forbes, one observer commented "AN-1792 may be one more piece of evidence that promising animal studies do not always produce treatments for humans."
8. Dozens of HIV/AIDS vaccines that have shown promise in animals have gone on to clinical trials to fail in humans. In 2012, it was revealed that one vaccine, developed by Merck, made the human research participants more susceptible to HIV. A survey of leading AIDS scientists found that 80% of them thought that it was now important to "change the direction of HIV vaccine research" and that "testing HIV vaccines on monkeys before they are used on humans, does not in fact work."
9. CEP-1347 and TCH346 were two drugs that were developed to treat neurological disorders like Parkinson's disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Both drugs appeared to be safe and effective in animal tests, but once they were tested in people, it was shown that the drugs were ineffective, and in some cases they worsened the condition in humans.
10. Based mostly on misleading experiments on animals, corticosteroids were tested on humans as a treatment for septic shock, only to find that the treatment resulted in "significantly more deaths." Researchers studying sepsis are now accepting the fact that "years and billions of dollars have been wasted following false leads" as a result of misleading animal research.
Humane and Effective Alternatives
Non-animal testing methods that are more reliable and less expensive have been developed. These make use of cell and skin tissue cultures, corneas from eye banks, and sophisticated computer and mathematical models. Some companies avoid testing altogether by using non-toxic natural ingredients or those that have already been safety-approved by the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Fragrance Association. As Gordon Baxter, cofounder of Pharmagene Laboratories, which uses only computers and human tissues to create and test drugs once said, "If you have information on human genes, what's the point of going back to animals?"
Why Test On Animals?
A big reason cosmetic companies use animal testing is because the cheap and syntheitc ingredients they're using are harmful to humans, and they think that by using animal tests they can determine how much of that ingredient they can use in order to not show visible (or immediate) signs of harm. Regulatory agencies don't require animal testing of cosmetics, and the effectiveness of non-animal product testing methods has been thoroughly demonstrated. In 2003, the European Union passed a ban on the use of animals in cosmetics testing starting in 2009, and a complete sales ban effective in 2013. So why do some American companies still insist on conducting these barbaric and obsolete tests?
The resistance of industry technicians and researchers trying to protect their jobs accounts for some of the reason. In addition, corporate legal departments typically use animal testing as a way to evade liability in the event of a lawsuit. However, consumers who purchase products from companies that test on animals are also partly responsible.
For a full list of companies that currently use animal testing, please email us your request and we'll send it to you. Hint: It's long, like really long. Too long to put on here.
What You Can Do
Only buy products from companies that don't test on animals. Compassionate consumers must use their purchasing power to send a strong message to cosmetics manufacturers that testing on animals is cruel and unacceptable. If you’re not sure if the company uses animal testing, you can look it up online, ask us and we’ll look into it, and there are apps you can download to scan the item and it will tell you if it is cruelty free or not (works for most but not all items). Encourage your friends and family members to support humane companies, as well. Share information on social media, write to the brands you’re now boycotting and tell them why, and you can donate to organizations that support cruelty-free practices. By shopping with Living Earth Beauty, a portion of your order will already be donated to some of these types of organizations.
This section may be hard to read, so proceed with caution. However we think that this information needs to be heard so that people can make an informed decision when they are buying products, and can conciously choose cruelty-free brands.
Eye Irritant Tests
In this type of test, the substance is applied on one eye while the animal is restrained and conscious, and leaving it on for the set amount of time before wiping away and recording it’s effects. They continue to be evaluated on their reactions for up to 3 weeks. The animals suffer from redness, swelling, discharge, bleeding, ulcers, blindness, and are usually euthanized upon completion of the experiment, especially if the tests renders irreversible damage to the eye or skin.
Acute Toxicity Tests
This type of testing is used to determine the danger of exposure to a toxin by pumping the chemicals into the stomach via force-feeding tube, injecting into the skin via syringe, or inhalation where the animals are held in gas chambers or are restrained with a breathing apparatus over their nose and mouth. For decades, this meant administering lethal doses of the toxin to the animals until at least one half of the subjects died. Another type is a fixed dose method that does not use death as the endpoint of the experiment, and signs of ailment or suffering often end the experiment. Other tests include the acute toxic class method and the up-and-down procedure, which is where a smaller number of animals are used, and injected one at a time. If the first animal survives, the dose is increased on the next. If it dies, the dose is decreased. During these tests, animals will often endure excruciating pain, convulsions, loss of motor function, and/or uncontrollable seizures. The animals are killed at the end of the experiment so that a necropsy can be performed to determine what internal damage has been done.
Repeated Dose Toxicity Tests
This test is used to evaluate chronic effects of toxins primarily on liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, and nervous system, and to establish a no-observed-effect-level (NOEL). The animals are exposed to smaller doses of chemicals, via force-feeding tubes, syringe or breathing apparatus for one to three months. The animals are evaluated during the test period and then killed at the end to look for signs of organ or body system damage. Rats, mice & dogs are most commonly used in these tests.
Skin Corrosion/Irritation Tests
Skin corrosion tests assess the potential of a substance to cause permanent damage to the skin. Skin irritation tests determine the level of damage caused to skin such as itching, swelling, and inflammation. Both tests are typically performed on rabbits. During this test, their backs are shaved and the substance in question is applied to their bare skin for several hours and then wiped away. A wound is allowed to develop for up to two weeks before the skin damage is assessed. A chemical is considered corrosive if at the end of the experiment the skin has developed ulcers, bleeding, scabs, scars, and/or other visible signs of dead tissue. There is no requirement that any pain-relief be provided to the animals during their experiments.
Skin Sensitization Tests
This test is used to determine if a chemical causes an allergic reaction. In the past this type of test was mainly performed on guinea pigs, whom had the substance applied to their shaved skin or injected by syringe. In the sensitization tests, multiple doses are applied in order to create an allergic reaction. Most skin sensitization testing now occurs using the Local Lymph Node Assay (LLNA). The procedure involves the application of the test substances on the surface of the ears of mice. It was concluded that this test was a valid alternative to the guinea pig test because it reduces the number of animals required for testing, lessens or eliminates animal pain and distress, and is often performed in shorter time periods. However, the mice are still euthanized after their use in these tests.
Pharmacokinetic/Toxicokinetic & Metabolism Tests
These tests measure the rates of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of toxic substances or substances under toxicology study. Animals are given single or multiple doses of test substances through force-feeding tubes, inhalation by breathing apparatus’ or gas chambers, intravenous injection, or through the skin and blood samples are taken to determine the result. The animals are then killed and examined for the accumulation of the test chemicals in their organs.
Dermal Penetration Tests
This test is used to analyze the absorption of a chemical substance through the skin and into the bloodstream. Rats are most often used in these tests and are killed upon completion.