Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Cosmetics companies putting money before ethics

Posted: 30 October 2012. Updated: 23 November 2012


A number of major cosmetics companies which had previously claimed non-animal testing policies, have been stripped of their cruelty free status due to expanding their sales into China. Although a cosmetic testing has been banned in the UK since 1998 and laws in Europe have banned the testing of cosmetic ingredients since 2009, animal experiments for cosmetics are required by law in China.

Previously cruelty free companies which have decided to sell their products in China include L’Occitane, Yve Rocher, Caudalie and Mary Kay.
Urban decay took the decision to stick with their non-animal testing policy after considering selling to China, stating “ultimately we did not feel we could comply with current regulations in China and remain true to our core principles”.

There are still a number of other cosmetic companies which do not test their products or ingredients on animals, such as Beauty without cruelty, Daniel Field Hair Care, Lush and Neals Yard Remedies. See our cruelty free list for more details.

In the UK, a number of supermarket brands also ensure cruelty free beauty products, such as Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Waitrose and Superdrug . Some of these also mark their products as suitable for vegetarians or vegans, for added clarity. View the details of cruelty free supermarket brands.

Our work continues on the EU phase out of using animals in order to test cosmetics. Last year ADI and NAVS presented our objections to a suggested relaxation of the marketing deadline for cosmetics, to the European Commission. Allowing the deadline to slide would commercially disadvantage those companies that have already committed to the ban. Maintaining the ban would only affect new products until a non-animal method is developed.

MEPs at the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals discussed the matter in May 2012. Daciana Sârbu MEP commented at the meeting that they are “extremely alarmed that the Commission is still considering whether to allow derogations under the Cosmetics Directive to allow continued animal testing. There are more enough ingredients available that have already been tested and approved today without allowing further animal suffering to develop more,”

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