Humans are animals too!

After reading Perry's article on "Misconceptions about cosmetic animal testing," it got me thinking... How can we claim as cosmetic chemists that our products have not been
tested on animals after submitting a safety sample for "Human repeat
patch insulin testing (HRIPT)?" By definition, humans are in fact also animals (a living organism that feeds on organic matter, typically having
specialized sense organs and nervous system and able to respond rapidly
to stimuli). 

Perhaps I am stretching for facts here, but honestly I am curious does anyone know (or have an opinion) why this is not in fact also considered animal testing?

- ramblings of a chemist who over thinks things -

Comments

  • "By definition, humans are in fact also animals..."

    That right there is your problem. You see, depending on your perspective, "definitions" are either different, or simply do not exist in this industry. The philosophical question you asked ("How can we claim as cosmetic chemists that our products have not been tested on animals...") is one of many that exist in the cosmetic industry. How can you claim a product is natural when it has a synthetic chemical in it? How can you claim a product is "anti-aging" when it is impossible reverse age?

    The answer to those and your question is, you can because nobody is going to tell you that you can't. You can claim "cruelty free" and "not tested on animals" because there is no legal definition for these terms. So your assertion that "by definition, humans are in fact also animals..." is not correct, because my definition for animals excludes humans (not actually, but just trying to emphasize a point).



  • "by definition, humans are in fact also animals..." is not correct
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • gfeldmangfeldman Member
    edited February 2015
    @Belassi An animal is a multicellular, eukaryotic organism of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Humans belong to the kingdom Animalia. How are humans not animals?
  • @laskedbetter Good old common definition versus biological definition. I like your explanation quite a bit though.

    Your explanation points at another topic that disturbs me quite a bit, "organic" products. By scientific definition if something contains carbon atoms then it is organic, but by public definition.. well public definition varies on it quite a bit, but the current definition is something along the lines of a non-GMO product that was not synthesized or grown with the aid of chemical compounds.
  • You can do yourself a lot of favors by abandoning text book/scientific definitions and learning the lingo of the industry. 

    Consider a hypothetical scenario in which a customer or marketing group asks you to make them an "organic sunscreen lotion". What does "organic sunscreen lotion" mean? Common sense would tell you that your science based definition (a carbon-based sunscreen) is likely far from what they're asking for. However, even with this in mind, the most experienced chemist would still need clarification on whether they are requesting a sunscreen lotion with "organic" sunfilters (avobenzone, octyl salicylate, OMC, etc.) or a sunscreen lotion that is going to be marketed as "organic". There are probably other reasonable guesses too, but the point is that the scientific definition for the term is farthest from what was meant, which is all to often going to be the case.
  • I see that AZIM is developing cannabis based products. I'll have to put myself forward as a tester! (Laughing)
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • gfeldmangfeldman Member
    edited February 2015
    @Belassi My brother was trying to talk me into producing something like this (a lotion, to be produced and sold in Colorado) and I told him it wasn't possible (for me) because it would be considered an OTC.. was I wrong??
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    @gfeldman, depends on the claims, and to some extent, on the activity.

    Bob
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • A lotion. For treating what, though?
    I'd better tell you, I have tried that. You know I'm interested in therapeutic products.
    My mother in law who is over 90 wanted to ease her arthritic joints and had heard that it could help. So I procured some and made an extraction using 90% ethanol, I think it was, this was quite a while ago so it's hard to recall exactly. Then I evaporated as much ethanol as possible. I dissolved the nonpolar result in capric/caprylic triglycerides so as to get really rapid penetration into the dermis, added some aloe vera and glycerol monostearate and made an emulsion. Being just an experiment I didn't bother with HLB and so on, it was rough and ready, but I ended up with a brown cream. 
    Unfortunately she reported  that it was completely useless. Having read as much literature as I could find, I fail to see how it could have worked anyway, the appropriate receptors are in the brain, not in the damaged joint area. At least as far as I understand it, but then, this kind of thing is a shot in the dark at best. I imagine there must be teams at work in the large cosmetics companies who do nothing except experiment with flora to see which species show effects.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • DavidDavid Member
    edited February 2015
    Not tested on animals is simply scientifically incorrect since we are animals. However it would sound very strange if you claimed "not tested on animals - except humans". That is why logic has to suffer a bit.
  • gfeldmangfeldman Member
    edited February 2015
    @David Thank you! I agree. Although, I believe that the phrase "Not tested on animals" should not be allowed as it is in fact scientifically incorrect.

    For giggles, to correctly state it; "Not tested on non-consenting animals" or "Tested on consenting humans only." "No animals other than humans were harmed in the production of this lotion." LOL 
  • Ours say 'not tested on Haggis or any other animals' 

    They used to say, 'Only tested on friends and family'  but we still got the animal testing questions with that


  • The fallacy of the "no animal testing" statements is that although complete cosmetic compositions are seldom, if ever, tested on animals, every ingredient in every cosmetic product has been thoroughly animal tested. Every ingredient has a known "lethal dose," proven by administering measured amounts into subject animals until they die. That's how the LD50 is calculated for every chemical. So we have to kill a lot of rats and rabbits for every cosmetic formulation.

    In addition, to establish toxicity of each ingredient in streams and lakes we have to kill quite a few fish to establish the limits and biocompatibilty ratings.

    Plus, there are skin irritation tests as well as eye inflammation trials, often done on shaved rabbit tummies and swabbed held open eyes. All these tests have the be done on all chemical offers commercially, otherwise we wouldn't have data for or Safety Data Sheets.

    This is the best kept secret in America.
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    That's true - and pretty much the work-around for years has been to either use ingredients that were animal tested several decades to more than a half-a-century ago, or to use ingredients that were first designed and tested for the pharmaceutical industry. The idea of testing any ingredient that is solely for use in cosmetics on animals for any reason died a messy death in the 90's. (fish don't count)

    None of the people in the "don't hurt the bunnies" brigades have ever been able to get traction for the idea that prescription pharmaceutical ingredients shouldn't be tested on animals, mostly because they run right up against the "don't hurt my children" hordes.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    To correct another misconception, all skin irritation and eye irritation tests are now done on humans and/or in-vitro. This has been the common practice for the last 10 - 15 years.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • Bob,  to correct your "misconceptions," the following is a quote from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (United Kingdom):

     
     .  -- Begin quote--
     
    Testing chemicals

    Millions of laboratory animals are used worldwide in tests to assess the safety of chemicals.


    Chemicals form the basis of, or are added to, a huge variety of products in everyday use. This includes paints, dyes, plastics, pesticides, household cleaners, cosmetics and food additives (also see: medicines and vaccines).

    EU and UK laws tell manufacturers how they must test their chemicals for safety. Different laws cover different types of product, and abiding by these laws usually requires the use of animal tests. Because many chemicals are very poisonous, the safety tests can involve considerable suffering and animals are always killed at the end of a test. The types of animals used include large numbers of mice, rats and fish as well as smaller numbers of rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and dogs.

    To be able to use chemicals safely, it is necessary to know exactly how poisonous each one is, both to people and to wildlife. Some chemicals are very dangerous and, even at low doses, can cause the death of people exposed to them. Others are safe unless people are exposed to them at a very high dose, or for a long period of time. The types of tests, their exact purpose, and the suffering they cause to animals varies. Examples of tests include:

    --  using guinea pigs to assess whether a chemical may cause an allergic skin reaction
    --  studying whether exposing rats and mice to a chemical over their whole lifetime causes cancer

    ---End of quoted text--

    Because of the strict new SDS requirements (worldwide)for statements regarding safety and toxicity, animals are still used to establish safety (or lack of it) for skin irritation and for eye contact. Some chemical can cause  severe eye damage, even blinidness.  Humans are not used for these types of tests.  Every new ingredient which is sold for use  in cosmetics requires these eliminative tests in order to establish its safety character.
  • @perspicacious I believe @bobzchemist was referring to the testing of cosmetics and not the individual RAW materials used in cosmetics. Cosmetics, in the US at least, are not tested on non-humans for skin or eye irritation.
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    The vast majority of my experience is in and for the US. No animal testing is being conducted or has been conducted on animals in the US for cosmetic chemicals for a long time - at least 15 years that I'm aware of.

    I do have some interest in what's going on there, and it was my understanding that the EU's absolute prohibition on animal testing for cosmetics also extended to the cosmetic raw materials that went into them, thus the need for extensive safety reviews and dossiers. If I recall correctly, there was even some controversy about whether or not any of the raw materials that had been animal tested decades ago were still legal to be used in cosmetics after the new directive came out.

    I don't consider the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (United Kingdom) to be an unbiased source, any more than I consider PETA to be an unbiased source for information on the subject. Much of their income depends on convincing people that animal testing is still going on, whether or not it is, in truth, happening.

    I would strongly suggest that you contact the Society of Cosmetic Scientists, in the UK, for up to date information, or that you read the Cosmetic Directive 76/768/EEC of 1976-07-27 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to cosmetic products[2] (as amended).


    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • Please, please, please  Bob.  I would like to say that you can't be that naive, but of course you are (I don't think that you mean to be dishonest, but are just uninformed). 

    Animal testing is indeed going on every day for any newly created chemical compound if it is to have any human exposure, which includes virtually any which are going to be produced for sale. The government regulations are too severe regarding toxicity for the tests not to continue. They are required by the law. 

    Now the "out" for cosmetic manufacturers (like most of us on this board) is that our completed formulations don't have to be tested for toxicity. However, each of our ingredients with a CAS number must have been. And we have to report the results of that toxicity testing on our new SDS forms (used to be called MSDS, which were much simpler). They are now more specific and detailed. 

    "Toxicity testing" (that's the nice term for it) is a multi-billion dollar business here in the US (and yes, it still includes rats and rabbits for skin and eye testing and for lethal dose testing), I know because I have had to have testing done and have had to contract for that testing when I was in the business of producing an ingredient chemical. I won't post the name of the mega-giant US testing lab (which has labs in virtually every state) because I still use them for VOC testing for my cosmetic products, required now on all formulations.  

    I am now only in the business formulating and manufacturing finished cosmetic products and fortunately don't have to make arrangements any more for animal testing to be done on our products (that's all done for me by my ingredient suppliers).

    If you think for a moment that the animal rights activist organizations are lying about the amount of animal testing going on you are (putting it nicely), simply mistaken,  They would not leave themselves in such a legally vulnerable position.  Do a Google search for LD50  (the dose which killed 50 percent of the animal test group) and notice that the bulk of the entries are from the prominent USA animal rights groups (similar and even more detailed than the UK group I quoted). Lots of true data about what's going on is described on those sites. I personally would like to see methods developed for toxicity which don't require animals (I don't want animals to suffer either) and I hear that some progress is being made, but we are not there by a long shot.

    Like I said, this is the best kept secret in America (and I should have said "the world").  And what perpetuates the lie (yes, the bold faced lie) is that so many cosmetic companies advertise, that they don't do animal testing.  Of course, they don't (no formulators do animal testing), they just all use ingredients which have been animal tested.  But, none of them are honest enough to provide that information along with their "no animal testing" statements. 

    Some companies are so dishonest they tout that their products are "cruelty free" even getting a PETA seal of approval to display.  I guess it isn't cruel that many animals suffered (that does includes fish) and many died to make the ingredients for those products (talk about deception).  
  • I really tried to let this one go, but for some reason I can't restrain myself.

    @perspicacious You seem to have a very staunch position on your perception of animal testing, but I think you will find yourself in an extreme minority among your peers, especially the more experienced chemists on this forum. Two points I wanted to correct for you:

    "Animal testing is indeed going on every day for any newly created chemical compound if it is to have any human exposure, which includes virtually any which are going to be produced for sale. The government regulations are too severe regarding toxicity for the tests not to continue. They are required by the law."

    What government toxicity regulations are you referring to? According to the FDA website:
     Neither the law nor FDA regulations require specific tests to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients.

    "And we have to report the results of that toxicity testing on our new SDS forms (used to be called MSDS, which were much simpler). They are now more specific and detailed. "

    Again, where did you get this information from? The HCS (Health Communication Standard) does not require any specific information be present on the SDS, but rather requires that the information available be organized and reported in a specific manner. 

    "Section 11: Toxicological Information - This section identifies toxicological and health effects information or indicates that such data are not available."
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