- There is no ban on personal care product testing on animals in the U.S.
- Learn the difference between testing finished products and testing ingredients
- Dr. Brite toothpaste, mouthwash and teeth whitening pens are not tested on animals
- Connect with our cruelty-free community for ideas and inspiration
What is animal testing?
Personal care items like toothpaste made in the United States are not required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Consumer Product Safety Commission to be tested on animals. However, many manufacturers practice animal testing as a way to prove their ingredients and products are safe for human use.
What does cruelty-free mean?
For a brand to be cruelty-free, there should be no kind of animal testing performed during any stage of product development. But it’s a little more complicated than that. Because product labels that read “Cruelty-Free” or “Not Tested on Animals” aren’t regulated or standardized in the U.S., they are up for interpretation. Yikes.
- A company can state that they do not test on animals and only be referring to their finished product and not the individual ingredients, which might have been tested on animals.
- A company may also claim that they never tested on animals but have commissioned another organization, or third party, to perform the animal testing for them.
- A company’s ingredient suppliers might have tested on animals as well but because the testing is done before the ingredients are in the company’s possession, they can say that they are cruelty-free.
- You may come across a label that reads “never tested on animals, except when required by law.” When you see this phrase, if often means that companies have chosen to sell their products in China or other countries where testing is required.
Alternatives to Animal Testing
Traditional testing methods can cause high levels of suffering for animals, which is why companies are working to develop, validate and implement cruelty-free alternatives that will replace animal testing for good. But don’t worry, moving away from animal testing doesn’t put humans at risk. Companies can adopt reliable, cruelty-free practices and select ingredients with a long history to ensure the safety and effectiveness of their products. Here’s a list of some non-animal testing alternatives:
- Cell Cultures. Now scientists can get cells to grow into 3D structures, such as miniature human organs, which can provide a more realistic way to test new products.
- Human Tissues. Both healthy and diseased tissues, donated from human volunteers, are more suitable for studying human reactions and responses than animal flesh.
- Computer Models. Computer models of organs already exist, and can be used to conduct virtual experiments based on current information and analytical data.
- Volunteer Studies. Advances in technology have allowed for the development of better scanning machines and recording techniques that can safely study human volunteers.
"The Dr. Brite vision is about empowering a more conscious way of life, so it's very important for our personal care products to be safe for both people and the environment”, says Pooneh Ram, DDS and CEO of Dr. Brite.
How to Shop for Cruelty-Free Brands
We all want to buy cruelty-free products, but the inconsistency of phrases and symbols or trademarks on packaging makes picking out cruelty-free products a challenge. By sharing these shopping tips, company lists and guidelines we hope it will become easier for you to find cruelty-free products.
- Do your research. If you’re serious about buying cruelty-free products, you’ll have to gather some credible resources (see below). And always bring a list with you to the store!
- Read labels. Simply look for the Leaping Bunny or PETA logos on product packaging for items that are guaranteed cruelty-free.
- Watch out for new ingredients. Because new or advanced ingredients don’t have previous records, they are often tested on animals to verify their safety.
- Contact the company. Since cruelty-free certification is done on a voluntary basis, not all cruelty-free companies are certified. Send them an email asking about their testing practices to find out for sure.
The Leaping Bunny Program
The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) Leaping Bunny Program is the only international cruelty-free certification program for consumer products. Dr. Brite is certified by the Leaping Bunny Program as cruelty-free, and you can find the Leaping Bunny logo on our website and product labels.
Certified companies like ours make a voluntary pledge to eliminate animal testing from all stages of product development. Companies’ ingredient suppliers must also make this pledge to ensure a product that’s completely cruelty-free. They must also recommit to the program each year and be willing to submit an independent audit.
Dr. Brite products are Leaping Bunny verified, including our toothpaste, teeth whitening pens, mouthwash, kids toothpaste and mouthwash and (of course) our Pet Pure collection.
Cruelty-Free Lists and Guides
Shopping for products not tested on animals is one way to support cruelty-free companies and helps encourage more companies to adopt cruelty-free methods as well. Connect with others in the community by sharing these helpful ways to discover cruelty-free brands through our Facebook page, and check out Dr. Brite on Instagram for other ways to live a cruelty-free life.
The BRITE Way
Dr. Brite is a cruelty-free brand that’s committed to ending animal testing. We do not test our toothpaste, mouthwash or teeth whitening pens on animals, and neither to our ingredient suppliers. The end result is an effective, vegan, all-natural dental care line that guarantees to be 100% free of animal testing. By participating in the cruelty-free movement we work to educate consumers about choosing safe products. (Read EWG verification received by Dr. Brite .) For additional healthy lifestyle tips refer to the Dr. Brite blog as a resource for vegan recipes, industry news and more.