Animal Testing for Cosmetics and Medicine for human consumption

This is a paper focusing on the Animal Testing for Cosmetics and Medicine for human consumption. The paper also focuses on your thoughts on the topic and the ethics of animal testing.

Animal Testing for Cosmetics and Medicine for human consumption

Case 10.3
Animal Testing for Cosmetics and Medicine

Animals are often live as subjects to test the safety of many products made for human consumption. The cosmetic industry often uses animals to examine the safety of its products. In some tests, animals, such as rabbits, will have a substance placed into their eyes to test for toxicity and tissue damage.

Opponents of such practices point to the suffering (and the eventual euthanization of many of the animals) as an inhumane and also unethical practice. Peter Singer, for example, has argued that consideration of species should play no role in the calculation of pain and suffering in moral (utilitarian) considerations. Critics also point to flaws in animal testing and the availability of alternative methods. Some large cosmetic companies such as Avon and Mary Kay have already adopted humane testing methods. Many countries (e.g., the European Union) around the world have placed legal limits on the practice of using animals for testing cosmetics.

Animal Testing for Cosmetics and Medicine for human consumption

There is no ban in the United States (as of yet). Though the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) does not require animal testing for cosmetic safety. Cosmetics may be easily dismiss as a consumer want; however, animals are also used to test pharmaceuticals and medical procedures, which are critical to sustaining human life. A recent controversy erupted (based on the filing of a complaint by the non-profit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) over the use of ferrets by the University of Washington Medical School’s neonatology department to train medical residents in the insertion of breathing tubes meant to prevent brain damage and/or to save the lives of premature babies. According to a spokesperson for the school, available alternatives (plastic simulators) are inadequate in duplicating the very narrow airways of very low birth weight (as little as one pound) babies. 9 While this particular case does not involve a direct commercial application.

Many of these procedures and drugs have been successfully used to treat human health issues. In the absence of testing on animals, human subjects would likely need to be used instead. Critics of the practices point to suffering as well as flawed assumptions in using animals in the development of medical procedures for people.

Questions for Discussion
1. What are your thoughts on the ethics of animal testing? Is this something faithful stewardship would permit?
2. What difference might one’s basis or worldview (i.e., biocentric, anthropocentric) make?
3. Would you draw a distinction between using animals for testing cosmetics versus testing for medical purposes? Why or why not? Rae, Scott B., and Kenman L. Wong. Beyond Integrity : A Judeo-Christian Approach to Business Ethics, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central, Created from liberty on 2020-04-09 11:43:51.

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