Byline: Frederic J. Frommer
WASHINGTON -- 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...