The potential for animal testing is still a huge risk around the world, with over 80% of countries still having no laws against testing in cosmetics. Despite the fact that most countries do not require safety data based on animal tests and reliable alternatives are available. One can use innovative and effective cruelty–free ingredients in their products. Cruelty Free International estimates that approximately 500,000 animals are still used in some countries in cosmetics testing every year.
The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International’s new campaign is calling for an international ban on animal testing in cosmetics, on both products and ingredients, everywhere and forever. Aiming to engage eight million people to sign the petition, it is also calling on the United Nations to introduce an international convention to end the practice once and for all.
Speaking on the campaign, Jacqueline Fernandez, Brand Ambassador of The Body Shop India says, “Real beauty cannot be achieved at the cost of harming anyone especially animals. The concept of animal testing for cosmetic brands should be banned. A socially responsible conglomerate would prefer not to implement testing measures that prove hazardous to anyone’s health.”
Rules on animal testing in cosmetics are currently patchwork, with legislation differing around the world leaving consumers ill informed. Traditional animal tests have never been validated for their use in reliably detecting the safety of cosmetic products and ingredients. There are now modern alternatives such as artificially grown human skin, that are, in the majority of cases, as effective as the animal test they replace and have been validated by authorities.
Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International says: “People are confused about animal testing. The world over, people want this cruel practice to end, yet existing laws are a patchwork of different rules with some very big gaps. While more and more countries require non-animal safety tests and many have taken steps to prohibit cosmetics testing on animals, there is more work to be done. Where animal testing is allowed – on both products and ingredients – most countries do not require testing data to be made available to the public or even to regulators. This makes it extremely difficult to know how widespread animal testing is. What we know is that one single test may involve hundreds of animals. If just one company or one country relies on animal testing, the impact on animal lives could be huge. Because 80% of countries around the world still allow animal testing for cosmetics, a global ban is the only way to truly eliminate animal suffering.”
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The CSR Journal Team