— Amy Peat contributed with this article
Most people use some form of cosmetic to enhance their natural attributes and to generally try to make themselves feel better. And the majority of consumers would say that they’re against animal testing, and would be concerned for the welfare of the animals.
Testing cosmetics on animals can be involved in any part of the manufacturing process, either on a completed product or one or many of the ingredients within the final composition of a product.
Tireless campaigns by bodies such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation (PETA) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) bring such issues to public attention.
Testing is usually undertaken to make sure that the product isn’t going to damage the skin or eyes of the consumer, and often this means using animals such as rabbits, rats and mice.
Some of the videos on the PETA website are graphic and disturbing with animals being kept in metal cages screaming for freedom.
In the UK, animal testing in cosmetics has been banned since 1998, so the issue in this country today is the fact that products are still being imported and sold, even though elements of them could be tested on animals.
The EU enacted an amendment to their cosmetics directive, to implement a “partial ban on the sale anywhere in the EU of cosmetics and toiletries containing ingredients which have been tested on animals.”
This means that animal testing in Europe will be reduced, but it doesn’t solve the problem of imported products from areas in other parts of the world.
Alastair Currie, one of PETA’s policy advisors, said: “Thanks to changes in the law, cosmetics testing on animals in the EU is now a thing of the past, but imported animal-tested cosmetics will still available on high street shelves for another few years.”
Some well established companies admit to animal testing. Unilever, a massive multinational corporation who supply everything from food to cosmetics and cleaning products, are one such company.
It is highly likely that somewhere within everyone’s household there is a Unilever branded product. They are the makers of popular brands such as Lynx, Dove, Sure, Sunsilk hair care, and Vaseline.
Another company which admits to animal testing is Proctor & Gamble, who is behind such cosmetic items as Olay, Gillette, Pantene, Wella, Max Factor, and, Herbal Essences.
Another massive sector of the Proctor & Gamble market is the fragrances they produce for many high profile brands, including Dolce & Gabanna, Escada, Dunhill, Gucci, Hugo Boss, and Lacoste.
We don’t know for sure which or if any of these particular products are definitely tested on animals, but they are listed on one campaign website as being open to animal testing or not proved otherwise as of February 2009.
Proctor & Gamble have invoked such outrage at their methods of testing that online campaigners have recently had their 14th annual global boycott P&G day, last Saturday, May 8th. They aim to inform people of the testing techniques undertaken by the company in the production of many of their products.
The site states that in 2008, Proctor & Gamble scientists had poisoned and killed thousands of animals in tests of a chemical, which had already been in use by humans for decades.
Massive companies such as Lush cosmetics, The Body Shop, Marks & Spencer, and The Co-op take a massive stance on stopping animal testing, and so it is certified that any of their products are produced and sold without any cruelty to animals. This proves the point that it is possible to make desirable and safe products without harming animals.
PETA’s statement to The Linc summed it up perfectly: “Everyone recognises that testing cosmetics and household products on animals is wrong, but people can find it confusing figuring out who is and isn’t doing it. Some companies make claims that look convincing, but don’t really stand up to scrutiny and sometimes their PR is very skilful at obscuring the truth.”
“The only way people can be confident is to see what organisations like PETA are saying about their policies – our only interest is protecting animals. PETA’s website contains all the information that people need to make compassionate, responsible choices,” they said.Tweet