I don’t know about you, but when I think of rabbits and guinea pigs, I see pets and stuffed animals. Unfortunately, thanks to the FDA, we can now have another less appealing image to process. As of 2015, the FDA is requiring that all personal lubricants must be tested using these animals to guarantee human safety. To put it bluntly, rabbits and guinea pigs are now being vaginally and anally violated because, in the imagination of the FDA, it will help maximize the safety for human use.  

According to www.fda.gov, the Food and Drug Administration is an agency that is “responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.”

Any product that makes a claim to alter the physical condition of the human body may be considered a drug. Personal lubricants, AKA lubes, are used for vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, and masturbation to help alleviate friction and the possible tearing of membranes during sexual contact. Because personal lube contains statements such as “reduces vaginal dryness” and other similar claims, the FDA has taken on the responsibility of monitoring the lube industry. According to a Forbes article from December, a personal lubricant is considered a Class II medical deviceTo protect the good citizens of America, the FDA is now requiring animal testing on rabbits and guinea pigs for one hundred percent of lubricant products. That means goodbye to vegan lubes and cruelty-free claims.  

As you may imagine, PETA responded immediately and began protesting the mandate. While the testing of animals for medical products is a controversial topic due to personal ethical values, science has made leaps and has certainly evolved over the last several decades. To avoid enforcing laboratory testing on animals, many organizations utilize testing methods with cultured human cells. Considering the fact that cultured human cells are actually more logical to use than living animals due to the fact that these products are actually made for humans, it seems unreasonable for the FDA to create a new mandate for animal testing.  

To put it bluntly, there is no animal in the world that has the same vagina or anus as a human being. Unfortunately, rabbits and guinea pigs were chosen because they are extremely sensitive to any unnatural disruptions and have an increased vulnerability to exhibiting symptoms during any testing.  

Some may think that the FDA has the health of the people in mind with any new requirements; any time the FDA is involved, I always play a game called “follow the money trail.” This is a method that highlights industry greed and mafia-style tendencies. The testing, using cultured human cells, is the less expensive method usually under ten thousand dollars, while the animal testing costs roughly fifty thousand dollars. Hence, the aforementioned mafia-style tendency.

The FDA has been generous enough to allow a highly restricted exception to the requirement called a 510(k). If a product has been on the market prior to 1976, or if testing that is approved by the FDA can validate any claims that the product is safe for human use, the organization may be released from the obligation of animal testing.  

While this may sound like a great thing, the big mafia mentality of the organization is an obstacle. During a 2015 conference with the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (the branch that monitors Class II medical devices for the FDA) Wendy Strgar, the CEO and founder of Good Clean Love, stated in Forbes“One of the things that came up continuously in this whole negotiation was like, “Oh, you don’t want to include PETA – that will put you on the bad side of FDA. You can’t even mention that you’re working with PETA if you want to get a 510(k).” 

Whether you are a proponent of animal testing or against it, the destructive and human implications are what really matter. If a rabbit’s nether regions were comparable to human beings’, one may conclude that the testing could possibly be beneficial and logical. As human beings, we take a risk when we use any products. I find it ironic that the FDA is attempting to regulate the lube industry when the pharmaceutical industry uses human subjects for testing. I have never heard a lube commercial with a long monotonous dialogue describing horrific symptoms in a rapid “please don’t listen to me tell you that you may die” tone of voice.