Is it possible to buy cruelty-free contact lenses and solutions?
Unfortunately, we do not currently know of any cruelty-free companies that make contact lenses. Bausch & Lomb, Johnson & Johnson, Alcon, Ciba, and many other manufacturers of contact lenses continue to test their products on animals.
We do, however, know of two companies—Lobob Laboratories and Clear Conscience—that do not test their contact lens solutions on animals. Clear Conscience is available in health food stores and through Pangea Vegan Products.
We only recently became aware of the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which promulgates regulations regarding the safety testing of contact lens products, does not explicitly require that contact lens solutions be tested on animals. Despite this good news, our research indicates that manufacturers of contact lens products are staunchly resistant to eliminating animals from their testing procedures. Because contact lens products go into the eyes, they must undergo more extensive safety tests than, for example, cosmetics products, which primarily go on the surface of the skin. Manufacturers use this reason and their fear of consumer lawsuits as excuses to continue testing on animals despite the questionable validity of animal tests and the existence of alternatives.
It is time, therefore, to put some pressure on the manufacturers of contact lens products. Please write to manufacturers and use your power as a consumer to encourage them to eliminate animal testing of their products.