Pulchritude: Winter Solstice

No Copyright Infringement Intended

December 21st, 2014  marks the beginning of the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.  The Earth is in close proximity to the sun, though the northern axis is tilting away from the sun.  The winter solstice is often followed by cold temperatures.  The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year and longest night of the year.  The winter solstice is of high importance in many cultures across the globe.


Flourless Fudge Cookies (Gluten-Free, Fat-Free)

Looking for a dessert recipe to wow your family with for the upcoming holiday?  Look no further!  These cookies are SURE to be a crowd pleaser, for chocolate lovers and non chocolate lovers alike!


Flourless Fudge Cookies

  • Servings: 15
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print
Recipe Courtesy: King Arthur Flour


2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder (Optional; Use 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons Instant Coffee as an alternative)
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup 100% Cacao powder
3 large egg whites (You can use a substitute of a carton egg white, equivalency should be on the carton)
2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
1 Cup Chocolate Chips (Optional, Adds fat to recipe)
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts (Optional, Adds Fat to Recipe)


1)  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets. Or line with parchment, and grease the parchment.


2)  Mix two cocoa powders, confections’ sugar and salt well.

3)  Add egg whites, vanilla, and espresso powder. Mix well.

NPKAFFudge54)  Add in chocolate chips and walnuts. Mix well.

5)  Spoon about tablespoon drops of batter onto greasing baking sheet or parchment paper

6)  Bake the cookies for 8 minutes; they should spread, become somewhat shiny, and develop faintly crackly tops.
7) Remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool right on the pan.

I recommend using liquid egg whites instead of the whites of whole eggs because you are likely to need more than 3 egg whites if you do not have “true” large eggs.  When I first made this recipe I used the whites from 3 extra large eggs and I needed to add the whites from another egg to get the proper consistency, which left me with 4 egg yolks.  You will know if you need another egg white(s) if the batter is very thick and still has a bit of cocoa powder visible.  You can see the proper consistency in the photos.

This recipe tastes great with or without the chocolate chips and walnuts, however, the chips and walnuts are a great addition! Likewise, the espresso powder/instant coffee really brings out the chocolate flavor and makes the cookies even more decadent!  I would not recommend these cookies to someone who is diabetic or pre-diabetic.

Have you tried this recipe?  How did you like it?

Thank you for reading!

How to Read Cosmetic Ingredient Labels XXXVIII

A friend highly recommended a hair conditioner to you and you are in your local drugstore to purchase it. You get excited when you see so many great ingredients on the list and are so glad this product was recommended to you. Is this product as great as you think? Remember, I am teaching you Label Poise–how to walk the walk, talk the talk, and buy products that meet YOUR standards, whether natural, organic, or safe enough.  For instructions on Label Poise visit our Label Poise page.

The Label


The Ingredients

Water: Safe!   Water is the ultimate moisturizer and is a key ingredient in many moisturizing products.

Canola Oil: Safe!/Beware!  This ingredient is derived from the rapeseed and is used as an emollient and skin conditioning agent. This ingredient can also be genetically modified and contaminated with pesticides as an estimated 87% of all canola grown in the US was genetically modified in 2005.

Glycerin: Safe!  Glycerin is a humectant that attracts moisture in the skin. Glycerine can be derived from fats and oils, or synthetically–which is not indicated here.  (MSDS)

Cetearyl Alcohol: Safe! Typically naturally derived from Coconut and Palm Oils (though it can be derived synthetically), it is a mixture of Cetyl and Stearyl fatty alcohols.  This ingredient acts as a thickener and moisturizer in personal care products.  In pure form,  this ingredient can be a slight skin irritant and permeator, and is toxic to mucous membranes.  The is no data available on human toxicity, carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, developmental toxicity, and teratogenicity.  (MSDS)

Ceteareth-20: Beware!  A derivative of Cetearyl Alcohol (Cetyl and Stearyl Alcohol) and Ethylene Oxide (a known carcinogen), this ingredient is used as an emulsifier and emollient.  Ceteareth-20 is a penetration enhancer that can allow other (potentially) hazardous substances to enter your system.  This ingredient may also be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen, as well as Ethylene Oxide.  Carcinogen contamination depends largely on how well purified the chemical is.  Products with this ingredient should not be applied to damaged skin as it may result in kidney damage.  In pure form it can be a skin, eye, and respiratory irritant, however there is no information on carcinogenicity, teratogenicity, mutagenicity, or developmental toxicity.  (MSDS; MSDS)

Fragrance (Parfum): Beware! Fragrances are often synthetic. Though they are low in concentration in the product, there is still a small chance of having an allergic reaction.

Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter: Safe!  This ingredient is derived from the nut of the Shea Tree and is used for its moisturizing properties.  (MSDS)

Ceteth-20: Safe!/Beware! This ingredient is a polyethylene glycol ether of Cetyl Alcohol and is used as a surfactant and emulsifying agent. This ingredient can be a skin and eye ingredient in pure form, though there is limited toxicological information available. It is not known to be a carcinogen, however, polyethylene glycol can be contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane–a suspected and known carcinogen, respectively. (MSDS;MSDS)

Glycol Stearate: Beware! Also known as glycol monostearate, glycol stearate is an ester of stearic acid and ethylene glycol, a known human toxin. It is primarily used as a opacifier (opaque, non transparent) and pearling agent and acts as an emulfisfier. In 2001, Glycol Stearol was used in hair conditioners in concentrations of 0.0001-3%. It is presently suggested for use in concentrations between 2-10% by weight of the formula, depending on the purpose in the product. Given it is an ester of ethylene glycol it may be contaminated with carcinogen 1,4-dioxane. It is not known to be a skin irritant up to 50%, based on patch tests, though it may be a mild eye irritant in pure form. It is not listed as a carcinogen, there is no data on mutagenicity. (MSDS; MSDS)

Petrolatum: Beware! This ingredient is also known as Petroleum Jelly is a hydrocarbon and is a distillate of crude (oil). It is used in skin lotions as an emollient and to prevent skin moisture loss. Similar to mineral oil, it prevents moisture from entering or leaving the barrier. There is no information on carcinogenicity, teratogenicity, mutagenicity, or developmental toxicity. Unless it is guaranteed 100% refined, petroleum may be with carcinogens. It can be a potential skin, eye, digestive, and lung irritant. (MSDS)

Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice: Safe!  This ingredient is used for its nutrient content and moisturizing properties.

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil: Safe!  Coconut oil is used for is skin conditioning and moisturizing properties. It is high in vitamins E and K.

Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil: Safe!  This ‘oil’ is a liquid wax and has a moderate fatty acid content.

Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil: Safe!/Avoid! Soybean oil is used as an emollient and emulsifier. Produced from soy beans, this oil may be genetically modified, contaminated with pesticides, and thus contain a lower linolenic acid content. A source of origin would clarify this. Other than GMO and pesticide contaminate, soybean oil is not known to be toxic or carcinogenic.

Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil: Safe! This oil contains Vitamin E and contains antioxidants.

Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil: Safe! Sweet Almond oil is high in oleic acid and is primarily used as an emollient.

Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter: Safe! This ingredient is made from the seed of a mango and is known for its moisturizing properties.

Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil: Safe! Olive oil is used for its skin conditioning and anti-inflammatory properties. It is rich in vitamins E and A, as well as antioxidants.  (MSDS)

Mangifera Indica (Seed) Oil: Safe! Mango oil is extracted from the seed of a mango, and is the oil fraction obtained from producing mango butter. It is high in stearic and oleic acids.

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil: Safe! Grapeseed oil is high in linoleic acid and is high in beneficial antioxidants.

Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia) Seed Oil: Safe!  This ingredient is made by pressing macadamia nuts and is used for its moisturizing and emollient properties.  If you are allergic to tree nuts or macadamia nuts, Beware!

Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Oil: Safe! This oil is pressed from the fruit and seed of Neem, which is a tree native to India. It is high in oleic acid and is known for its moisturizing properties. It is used for a variety of purposes in traditional Ayurveda.

Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil: Safe!  Carrot seed oil is used as an emollient and skin conditioning agent.  It is high in omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and nutrients such as Beta Carotene, vitamin A and Stigmasterol.  It is not known to be toxic, an irritant, or sensitizer.  (MSDS ; MSDS)

Argana Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil: Safe!  This oil is made from the kernels of the argan tree found in Morocco. It is high in oleic and linoleic fatty acids and is renowned for its hair repairing and moisturizing properties. (MSDS)

Silk Amino Acids: Safe! Silk amino acids are water soluble glycoproteins extracted from raw silk. It is high in serine and aids in moisture retention. Silk amino acids are producing by hydrolyzing silk proteins into smaller peptide chains of 18 to 19 amino acids. This ingredient has a high molecular weight and therefore does not absorb into the skin. It can be an eye irritant in pure form, though it is not known to be carcinogenic. (MSDS;MSDS)

Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract:  Beware!  This ingredient is used in conjunction with Honeysuckle extract as a preservative.  It is not known to be toxic or an irritant in small quantities.  It should be noted that parabens are very similar in structure (essentially the synthetic version) to p-hydrobenzoic acid, the active ingredient in Japanese Honeysuckle extract.  It is believed to act similarly to parabens in the body.  (MSDS)

Laminata Cloustoni (Sea Kelp) Extract: Safe!/Beware! [Editor’s Note: The scientific name of this ingredient is actually Brown Algae.] This ingredient is used as a skin protectant and fragrance ingredient. No MSDS Found.

Salvis Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract: Safe!  This ingredient is used as a skin conditioning agent, skin protectant, and antioxidant.  It is generally regarded as safe and is not known to be toxic. (MSDS; MSDS)

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract: Safe! Grape seed Extract is high in vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid, and phenolic procyanidins. It is used in cosmetics because of its believed antibacterial properties, and is thus used as a preservative. Grape seed extract is also used for its antioxidant properties as well as believed astringent and restoring properties. It is typically used in cosmetic forumlations between 5-10% of the formula. It can be an eye, skin, and lung irritant in pure form, though it is not known to be carcinogenic. (MSDS;MSDS)

Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract: Safe!  This ingredient is used for its conditioning and astringent properties.  Depending on the concentration Avoid! if you have high blood pressure as it is believed to increase circulation. (MSDS)

PEG-75: Beware!/Avoid! This ingredient is a polymer of polyethlene glycol and has a molecular weight of 4000. This ingredient is used as a binder, humectant, and solvent. No MSDS Found.

Polyquarternium-10:  Beware!  This ingredient is a polymeric quaternary ammonium salt of hydroyethyly-cellulose and is used as an anti-static agent and film former.  Polyquaternium-10 readily bonds to hair proteins and increases viscosity (thickness) of the conditioner.  It is typically used in concentrations between 0.2% – 2%.  At greater concentrations it can cause skin irritation.  No data available on carcinogenicity or mutagenicity.  It is not believed to be genotoxic.  I would not use this product unless you chemically relax or treat your hair.  (MSDS)

Phenoxyethanol:  Beware!/Avoid!  This is a preservative.  You will notice it is very high on the list of ingredients.    It is used because it is safer than formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, though the FDA released a warning about how it can impact the central nervous system and induce vomiting in infants.  It is also suspected to be a xenoestrogen (mimics estrogen), a cause of contact dermatitis and skin irritant.  In pure form phenoxyethanol is toxic to kidneys, the nervous system, and liver; it is an extremely hazardous eye irritant and a very hazardous eye irritant, though information on carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, teratogenicity, and developmental toxicity are not available.  It is banned in the EU and Japan in concentrations over 1%.  Therefore, one would assume it is either greater than the EU concentration restraint or it is in accordance, and the remaining ingredients in this product are at very low concentrations.  This ingredient is made from 2 carcinogens (benzene and ethylene oxide), though it itself is not known to be carcinogenic.  People around small children should ‘Avoid!‘ this ingredient, others should ‘Beware!‘.  (MSDS)

Ethylhexylglycerin: Beware! This ingredient is a glyceryl ether and is the condensation product of 2-ethylhexanol and glycerin. This ingredient is typically derived from vegetable oil, but goes through various chemical transformations before becoming the final product. It is used as a skin conditioning agent, deodorizer, and very mild preservative. It is typically used in concentrations of 0.0003 – 2% by weight of a formula. Though it is used in the treatment of eczema, it is believed to be a skin, eye, and lung irritant. It is not known to be carcinogenic, a reproductive, developmental toxin, or genotoxin. No Individual MSDS. (CIR Report; MSDS: Caprylyl Glycol & Ethylhexylglycerin).


Nature’s Pulchritude’s Verdict:  This product has A LOT of great ingredients in it.  It does not have any parabens or -isothiazoline preservatives.  Only problem with this product is all of those great ingredients come after both fragrance and petrolatum.  The first 5 ingredients in this conditioner are fairly good.  Canola oil is not a high quality oil and likely does not have the same effect on the hair as some of the other oils lower down on the list.  Fragrance being so high on the lists leads me to believe the ‘better’ ingredients in this product are low in quantity and may not have a significant impact on the hair.  I would try this product if it didn’t have petrolatum in it, though as is, it may be a great option for you or a friend!

Product Review: Talenti Coffee Chocolate Chip Gelato

This product was purchased by Nature’s Pulchritude.  All opinions are that of Nature’s Pulchritude and have not been influenced in any way, shape, or form.


Ice cream.  Who doesn’t like it?  Ice cream has long been one of my favorite dessert items.  About 2 years ago, after continuously eyeing this product in the grocery store I finally decided to try it.  Hello, Talenti Gelato.  Gelato and ice cream are very similar as gelato is italian style ice cream.  The key difference between the two is the method of creation and not to mention the rich, potent flavors often found in Gelato.

“Better ingredients make happy spoons.”

The ingredients in this product are very simple. Unlike many other frozen treats on the market, there are no artificial ingredients–no high fructose corn syrup. It is high in fat and cholesterol because it uses real ingredients!

0.9 Globe


As the name suggests, this product tastes like coffee. The coffee flavor is strong enough to really taste it without it being overpowering. There is also no bitter aftertaste from the coffee. The chocolate chips add another dimension to the flavor and is a great complement.

1 Globe

This product has a very smooth, velvety texture. The chocolate chips are not too big or too small. Compared to ice cream it is significantly less crystalline and melts much faster once out of the freezer.

1 Globe

Ingredients: NPTalentiIngr

As previously mentioned, this product is made with good, simple ingredients. The biggest concerns with this product is the production method of the ingredients. This product is not non-GMO certified. The key ingredients of concern are the milk, sugar, cream, soybean oil, and soy lecithin. All of these ingredients can be made from genetically modified ingredients. Alternatively, none of the ingredients appear to be artificial in origin. This product would get 1 Globe if it was non-GMO certified!

.9 Globe

Overall, this is a great product.  The quality of the recipe and ingredients are high.  This flavor is sure to fulfill your sweet tooth!  This may also be a great dessert addition for the holiday season for your family!

3.8/4 Globes
Nature’s Pulchritude All-Star!


This product is one quart, though their grocery store options are typically a pint.  The pint sizes are typically $5.99 while the quart is about $7.99 – $8.99 depending where you purchase it from.  I see this product either on sale, or with a coupon regularly, so don’t let price be a deterrent!  Given the quality of this product, I find you don’t eat as large a portion as you would with most other ice creams.  A small amount will satisfy your sweet tooth.


Have you tried this product, what was your opinion? Will you try this product?

How to Read Cosmetic Ingredient Labels XXXVII

Let’s talk makeup!  You picking up some pressed powder in a bind after running out recently.  You go for a pressed powder from a brand you have used in the past.  You know to check the ingredients on your hair and skin products, but never really though about your makeup!  You look at the ingredients and seen some familiar ingredients, yet several that you do not recognize.  Should you be more concerned about what is in your makeup?  Remember, I am teaching you Label Poise–how to walk the walk, talk the talk, and buy products that meet YOUR standards, whether natural, organic, or safe enough.  For instructions on Label Poise visit our Label Poise page.

The Label


The Ingredients

Talc:  Safe!/Beware!  This ingredient is a hydrated magnesium silicate that is formed via the hydration and carbonation of magniesium containing minerals such as pyroxene, olivine, amphibole, and serpentine. Mg3Si4O10(OH)2 is the chemical formula of talc. Talc is commonly used in cosmetics as an absorbent and anti-caking agent. There have been concerns about Talc being contaminated with Asbestos, however, when tested properly the present of asbestos can be detected. Contaminated talc should not be used in cosmetics. There are also concerns about links of Talc to lung and ovarian cancer, though they have not been conclusively supported by existing scientific literature. Asbestos free Talc is not considered to be a carcinogen to humans (Classified as Group 4 “probably not carcinogenic to humans” by International Agency for Research on Cancer [IARC], and A4 “not classifiable as a human carcinogen” by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists [ACGIH]). Talc is an eye, skin, and lung irritant in pure form and is suspected to be toxic to lungs. (MSDS)

Mica:  Safe!  Mica is a mineral that is often ground and used for its reflective and refracting properties in various cosmetics, including moisturizing lotions. In pure form it can be a slight skin and eye irritant, as well as act as a toxin to the lungs and mucous membranes. Information on carcinogenicity, teratogenicity, mutagenicity, and developmental toxicity are not available. (MSDS; MSDS)

Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate: Safe!/Beware! This ingredient is an ester derived from stearic acid and is a synthetic skin conditioning agent. Stearic acid is a fatty acid found in animal and vegetable fat. Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate is often found in foundations, eye shadows, blush, and other face makeup. It can also be used as a non aqueous viscosity increasing agent and emollient. It is not known to be a mutagen, though it can be a skin irritant. A safety study conducted by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review found that Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate was able to penetrate the skin, but not to deep layers. As of 2001, if was used on in concentrations of 2-15% (CIR). It can be a mild skin irritant.

Dimethicone: Beware!  Dimethicone is a synthetic chemical polymer siloxane derived from silica.   They are used as a skin conditioning agent and form a protective barrier on the skin that prevents moisture from leaving or entering, which can be harmful to skin.  Dimethicone is the 5th ingredient in this product indicating its (quantity) in the formula.   (MSDS)

Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides:  Beware! This ingredient is derived from hydrogenated coconut oil and is a mixture of mono-, di-, and tri- glycerides. This ingredient is used as an emollient and skin conditioning agent. It is used in concentrations of 0.04-10% in face powders, though its concentration of use ranges from 0.01-31% in cosmetics (CIR). There is limited toxicological information available on Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, though the safety of Coconut Oil was extrapolated to define this ingredient as safe under current usage standards. No Individual MSDS.  (CIR)

PTFE:  Beware!/Avoid! Also known as polytetrafluroethylene, this ingredient is a synthetic fluropolymer of tetrafluroethylene. This ingredient is very similar to Teflon. This ingredient is used as a slip modifier, binder, bulking agent, and skin conditioning agent. This ingredient has not been reviewed for safety by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review. PTFE is listed as non-irritating and non-absorbing on skin, though it can be toxic to lungs (Editor’s Note: It should be noted that PTFE is more commonly used for industrial purposes and use on skin in cosmetics is not well studied). (MSDS; MSDS; MSDS)

Lecithin:  Safe!  Lecithin is a lipid found naturally in animals and vegetables. Lecithin contains 4 phospholipids (phosphatidyl ethanolamine, phosphatidyl choline, phosphatidyl inositol, and phosphatidic acid. Lecithin is typically derived from soybeans, which are likely genetically modified, though sunflower (oil) or eggs can be used. Lecithin is used as an emulsifier, water binding agent, emollient, and viscosity controlling agent. It is typically used in concentrations of 0.5 to 5% by weight of a formula. This ingredient should not be paired with strong oxidizing agents. In pure form, Lecithin can be a slight skin, eye, and lung irritant. It is not known to be a carcinogen. Lecithin is considered safe in rinse off products and leave on products in concentrations of less than or equal to 15% (CIR).  Beware!  if you are averse to GMOS.  (MSDS; MSDS; CIR)

Methicone:  Beware!  This ingredient is a silicone polymer. It is typically used as a emollient, skin conditioning agent, antistatic agent, and occlusive. Like other silicones it creates a film on the skin and hair. No MSDS found. This ingredient is considered safe for use by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review. (CIR)

Sodium Dehydroacetate:  This ingredient is used as a preservative, and is an antimicrobial agent. Sodium Dehydroacetate is a sodium salt of dehydroacetic acid. This ingredient is an eye, skin, and lung irritant in pure form. There is limited knowledge of additional toxicological information.  (MSDS)

Methylparaben:  Beware!  This ingredient is synthetic and acts as a preservative with anti-fungal properties.  It is naturally occurring in fruits such as blueberries as p-hydroxybenzoic acid.  This ingredient is readily absorbed into skin and it along with other parabens have been at the center of controversy about its role in causing cancerous cells in breast tissue being that parabens are xenoestrogens (mimic estrogen).  There is not conclusive proof that states that use of personal care products containing parabens causes cancer.  Methylparaben is suspected to cause DNA damage and increased skin aging when it reacts to UVB rays.  It can be a skin allergen (dermatitis) in a paraben mix.  (MSDS)

Propylparaben:  Beware!  Propylparaben is used as an anti-fungal preservative, typically in concentrations less than 1%. It is commonly synthetically produced though it is produced naturally in fruits as p-hydroxybenzoic acid.  It is readily absorbed into the skin and metabolized, and has been found in urine in limited tests.  This ingredient is readily absorbed into skin and it along with other parabens have been at the center of controversy about its role in causing cancerous cells in breast tissue being that parabens are xenoestrogens (mimic estrogen).  There is not conclusive proof that demonstrates that use of personal care products containing parabens causes cancer.  It can be a skin allergen (dermatitis) in a paraben mix. (MSDS)

May Contain:
Iron Oxides:  Safe! There are 16 known Iron Oxides, which are chemical compounds composed of iron and oxygen. They are typically used in cosmetics as pigments, though this ingredient may be in this product as a contaminant. In pure form, Iron Oxides can be irritants to eyes, skin, and lungs. It is not known to be a carcinogen. (MSDS)

Titanium Dioxide: Safe!  Also known as CI 77891, this is a white pigment used for various applications. In pure form Titanium Dioxide is a potential human carcinogen when inhaled. Its health impacts are dependent on size (i.e. nanoparticles), based on the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). It should be fine to use in this topical product.  (MSDS)



Nature’s Pulchritude’s Verdict:  Makeup is a new realm we have not delved much into, but expect more on makeup in the future!  There are multiple ingredients in this product that are questionable.  Some ingredients are not my favorite in hair and skin products but are allowable, however, products you apply to your face and leave on your skin should be reviewed more carefully.  This product contains 2 types of silicones and parabens, which is not ideal, however, the shocker in this product is “PTFE.”  Most people will not recognize PTFE on a label, but they would recognize TEFLON.  Teflon?  Teflon?!  In makeup?!  Though none of the MSDS said it was a hazard on skin, something about teflon in makeup is problematic.  Pass on this pressed powder, just make sure what you buy doesn’t have similar ingredients!

Federal ban sought for animal testing on cosmetics

Animal testing has been a hot-button issue in across the globe for many years. Regulations are being proposed to ban animal testing in the United States. Given the state of U.S. politics, it is very questionable whether this would even pass, aside from the length of time it would take to be implemented.

November 15, 2014, Frederic J. Frommer, WASHINGTON (AP) — Hoping to build off recent bans in Europe and India, opponents of animal testing for cosmetics plan to make a big push for a similar prohibition in the United States. The effort could be a tough sell in a Republican-controlled Congress.

Virginia Democrat Don Beyer is expected to take the lead on the issue when the new Congress convenes next January.  He is succeeding retiring Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., who has introduced legislation that would prohibit testing cosmetic products on animals, as well as the sale of any new cosmetics if the final product or any component was developed using animal testing.

“The United States must be a world leader and not a follower,” Beyer told supporters in a campaign email highlighting the issue.  His state is home to several cosmetic companies, such as Tri Tech Laboratories of Lynchburg, a custom manufacturer of personal care products.

Last year, the European Union banned the sale of new cosmetic products containing ingredients tested on animals, and India followed with a similar ban.

Sara Amundson, executive director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, called the Moran bill a “marker” to build political support, with a sustained lobbying effort to follow next year.  To date, more than 140 cosmetic companies have endorsed the bill, including Paul Mitchell, the Body Shop and LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics.

The legislation might not face the most receptive environment next year, with regulation-averse Republicans running both houses of Congress, but Amundson said that proponents will cast it in a pro-business light.

If U.S. companies have to comply with what’s already transpiring, for example, in the EU, one would want to ensure there aren’t any trade barriers,” she said.

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, said if a bill is introduced next year, “we could take a look at it to get a better understanding at that time.”

Of the 55 co-sponsors of the Moran bill, only one was a Republican – Michael Grimm of New York.  The Humane Society Legislative Fund donated $5,000 to Grimm’s campaign, citing his leadership and advocacy on animal protection issues.

“I have a puppy that I rescued from a puppy mill and I think that these are issues that are close to my heart and close to the hearts of many of my constituents back home in Staten Island and Brooklyn,” Grimm said.

The bill would not affect animals used for biomedical research.

The cosmetic industry trade group, the Personal Care Products Council, referred to an earlier statement by its executive vice president for government affairs, John Hurson, who said the legislation echoes the industry’s “longstanding commitment to ultimately eliminate the need to conduct animal testing” on cosmetics.

Hurson said cosmetic companies largely stopped animal testing on finished products in the 1980s, and now only consider using them when mandated by government bodies or for safety evaluations of new ingredients when no viable alternative is available.  Under federal law, manufacturers aren’t required to test cosmetics on animals to prove product safety, but the FDA says it’s consistently advised cosmetic manufacturers to employ whatever testing is appropriate and effective.

Amundson said even though finished products aren’t tested on animals, some individual ingredients and formulations are.

Amdundson, the Personal Care Products Council and the FDA were unable to provide an estimate of how many animals are used in cosmetic testing each year.

via Associated Press (Yahoo! News)