Federal Issue Brief

 H.R. 2359, Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011

AVMA Position:

 Nonsupport 

Summary:

Introduced by Congresswoman Janice Schakowsky (IL-9th), H.R. 2359 would amend title VI of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to ensure the safe use of cosmetics. Section 624 would require non-animal alternative testing methods to be used where practicable and “equivalent or superior in scientific quality to the animal testing method.” Additionally, Section 624 would require the FDA to publish a listing of alternative testing methods one year after the passage of the Act and to update the list every three years.

Background:

The Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) was established as a permanent interagency committee in 2000, and is charged with establishing, “wherever feasible, guidelines, recommendations, and regulations that promote the regulatory acceptance of new or revised scientifically valid toxicological tests that protect human and animal health and the environment while reducing, refining, or replacing animal tests and ensuring human safety and product effectiveness.” (ICCVAM Authorization Act of 2000)

Justification:

  • The AVMA policy on the Use of Animals in Research, Testing, and Education endorses the principles embodied in the “Three R’s” (refinement, reduction, and replacement) and thereby is consistent with the intent of the proposed legislation. 
  • The FDA is already a member of the ICCVAM. Legislation advocating additional requirements for the validation and use of alternative methods appears redundant and unnecessary.
  • Because the ICCVAM is not mentioned in the legislation, it is unclear who would endorse the alternatives being proposed and used. This may create confusion amongst federal agencies about who is responsible for identifying and authorizing the application of alternative methods. 
  • The bill requires publication of a “list of alternative testing methods,” but does not specify a mechanism or basis for determining which alternative methods are appropriate.

Current Status:

House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health, and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.

AVMA Contact:

Dr. Whitney Miller, Assistant Director, Governmental Relations Division, 202-289-3211.