Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Cosmetics companies resume animal testing

Posted: 23 November 2012. Updated: 7 January 2013


Several major cosmetics companies which previously claimed non-animal testing policies, have been stripped of their cruelty-free status due to expanding their sales into China. Although cosmetics 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.

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  • Previously cruelty-free companies which have decided to sell their products in China include L’Occitane, Yves Rocher, Caudalie, 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”.

Other companies maintaining strong no animal testing policies include Beauty Without Cruelty, Daniel Field, Lush, Neal’s Yard and a number of supermarket brands 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. A list of cruelty free companies is available on the NAVS website at

These disturbing developments show it is vital that we maintain the pressure to keep to the EU phase out deadlines and also expand our campaigns globally. We have reiterated to the European Commission our objections to relaxing the marketing deadline for cosmetics tested on animals. Allowing the deadline to slide would commercially disadvantage companies that have committed to the ban. Maintaining the ban would only affect new products until a non-animal method is developed. Also with the huge Chinese market being denied to companies not testing on animals, it is more vital than ever that the EU blocks animal tested products from sale.

Daciana Sârbu MEP commented at the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals 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 than enough ingredients available that have already been tested and approved today without allowing further animal suffering to develop more.”

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