Currently, it is estimated that 115 million animals in the world are used in laboratories for experimentation; in the region, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina top the list.
It has been more than 100 years since the fight against animal experimentation began. Currently it is estimated that 115 million animals in the world are used in laboratories for experimentation and testing of substances.
In Latin America, Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina are the countries that are at the top of the list of experimentation, according to research by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. It is estimated that 5 million are victims of these practices, most of them in tests for the preparation of cosmetic products.
In the Mexican case, the most commonly used are mice and rabbits to experiment on internal affectations and skin damage , respectively, points out the teacher Antonio Franyuti Vidal, general director and founder of the organization Animal Heroes.
Mexico seeks to eradicate the animal testing in the cosmetics industry from an initiative in the Senate, which is accompanied by various animal organizations, and is expected to be submitted for consideration in September, after due to various legislative outstanding, not it was considered for discussion in the last regular session, which ended on April 30.
The initiative with the draft decree seeks to reform and add various provisions to the General Health Law, the Federal Law on Animal Health and the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection and, with it, various sanctions that contemplate, even, sentences of two to seven years in prison.
“In Mexico there is a lot of experimentation, but we do not have numbers because the standard does not require statistics on this, however, it is known that laboratories experiment with animals because the norm asks for this,” explains Franyuti, whose organization made observations and gives Accompanying the legislative initiative with which it intends Mexico to emulate the European Union (EU), which in 2003 approved the ban on testing cosmetics on animals, or Guatemala, which in 2016 became the first country in Latin America to ban that type of tests.
The panorama in Mexico
Currently, only 37 countries in the world have total or partial animal testing bans , including all countries of the European Union, Norway, India, New Zealand, Israel and South Korea.
“In Mexico there is a disaster, in fact, they come from other countries to experiment here because there is no law , because there is no regulation that prevents animals from being used in the cosmetic industry, what could be more banal than killing or mistreating to an animal to make a ‘lipstick’? “asks Jesusa Rodriguez, artist, activist and senator of the ruling party Morena, and who leads the initiative in the upper chamber along with his counterpart Ricardo Monreal.
In the Latin American nation, most state laws refer to animal welfare and sanction mistreatment; in Mexico City, for example, animals received the status of sentient beings in January 2017 .
“The jurisprudence on this matter is still very long delayed, we humans do not yet understand what century we are in or where we are going, there are no public policies in that sense, because there are many economic interests, we are going towards a suicide as a species , because we are speciesists, for the discrimination towards the other species “, Rodríguez points out.
The declaration of Cambridge, in 2012, states that not only humans have neurological substrates that give rise to consciousness and that animals feel, think and are aware. While in France, recently, the declaration of Toulon was made, where it is proposed that animals must rise in legal status and be considered with their own rights.
In Mexico, Article 270 of the General Health Law allows and encourages manufacturers, importers and marketers of cosmetic products to have studies that conduct experiments on animals. For such purposes, article 190 of the Regulation of Sanitary Control of Products and Services prescribes that, in order to verify that perfumery and beauty products do not cause harm to health, skin irritation tests of various animals must be carried out , as well as the index of sensitivity and ocular irritation index .
Previously, in NOM-039-SSA1 of 1993, alternative tests were accepted , such as induction patches in humans, corneas from dead cattle in traces, chicken embryos, as well as some in vitro tests to determine cell toxicity and destruction, inhibition of growth cellular and integrity or permeability of the cell membrane. The Official Mexican Standard (NOM) is the technical regulation of mandatory compliance issued by the competent agencies.
However, the standard was canceled in 2003 and replaced by another, the NOM-010-STPS-1999, and by the general methods of analysis of irritability in skin and eye irritability, which require that animals be confined in bioterios – where they are raised, maintained and used in the laboratory-, which often do not cover with minimum needs for well-being, freedom of movement, temperature, and adequate light.
“You already have experiments on almost all the ingredients that have cosmetics, mixtures, you do not even have to experiment, the problem is that the standard requires that it be done , even though you already know the result, and the only thing that it is being asked is that it no longer happens “, abounds Franyuti Vidal, promoter also of the so-called Animalist Group.
According to statistics from the European Commission, about 15,000 ingredients have already been tested and declared safe.
The Mexican cosmetic industry ranks third in production, after the US and Brazil, and is equivalent to 10,000 million dollars , occupying the 11th place in the world. In addition, it records a growth of 4% per year, based on data from the National Chamber of the Cosmetic Products Industry (Canipec).
For that reason, Mexico has become the leading exporter of cosmetics in Latin America.
How you experiment with animals
It is estimated that 115 million animals are used in experiments worldwide every year and most tests are carried out without anesthesia or analgesics, in addition to toxic substances can cause suffering for long periods, says the report of the Coalition European Commission to end the Experiments with Animals (ECEAE).
Likewise, the document indicates that the toxicity tests of pharmaceutical products in rodents predict human toxicity in only 43% . Another revealing fact of the same text is that 92% of the new drugs that pass the tests on animals do not reach the market , mainly due to unforeseeable side effects or because they are ineffective .
In the experimentation with repeated dose toxicity, rabbits or rats are forced to ingest or inhale cosmetic ingredients, or the ingredient is applied to the shaved skin, every day, for 28 or 90 days. Then they kill them.
In tests of reproductive toxicity, rabbits or pregnant rats are forced to ingest substances and then killed to assess the toxicity in their fetuses, highlights the ECEAE.
The proposal in detail
The initiative raises fines of 15 to 20,000 times the value of the unit of measurement and updating (UMA), which this year is 84.49 pesos ( $ 5 ), to those who omit in the packaging specify that the manufacture of cosmetics did not include tests on animals. Likewise, the establishment that violates said provision could become subject to temporary or definitive closure .
Also, two to seven years in prison and an equivalent fine of 200 to 2,000 times the value of the UMA will be applied to those who perform cosmetic tests on animals , a penalty that will be doubled when the test is performed with acts of abuse or animal cruelty.
The proposal has already been presented to the Senate committees, where it awaits approval so that after the ruling is discussed in the Senate plenary session. After that, it should be sent to the Chamber of Deputies.
If approved by the Congress, it must be published in the Official Gazette of the Federation ( DOF ). From its promulgation, producers will have a year to adapt their processes to the new provisions. So far, lawmakers have not had rapprochement with representatives of the cosmetics industry.
According to the document, the resources obtained by the application of economic sanctions derived from the crime will be used to finance actions, publications, and awareness among the population on responsible guardianship and animal rights; They will also be used for institutions, animal shelters or sanctuaries, or animal protection and welfare programs.
“This is aimed at stopping practices of abuse that have normalized, because, I am convinced, violence is generated from there, from the mistreatment of animals and their exploitation, and that is where we have to beat, although this initiative The use of animals in cosmetics is just a detail, “Rodríguez concludes.
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