Companies test on animals to provide data that they can use to defend themselves when they are sued by injured consumers—even though some courts have ruled that the FDA has failed to show that the results of animal tests can be extrapolated to humans. The unreliability of animal tests allows companies to put virtually any product on the market.
If cosmetics or household products blind or poison animals during tests, they are often marketed anyway. Companies use the fact that the products have been tested—rather than the actual test results—to support the claim that they are conscientious. In most cases, companies settle out of court, preferring to pay off the injured consumer rather than bring the unreliability of their testing practices to light. In some cases, courts have ruled in favor of the injured consumers.
In the end, animal tests protect no one.