PETA removes companies from cruelty-free list.
UPDATE from PETA
Without notifying their customers or PETA, Avon, Mary Kay, and Estée Lauder—which have been on PETA’s list of companies that don’t test cosmetics on animals for decades—have been quietly paying for poisoning tests on animals at the behest of the Chinese government in order to market their products in China. Because they no longer qualify as companies that don’t test,Avon, Mary Kay, and Estée Lauder have been downgraded to PETA’s “do test” list.
Avon banned tests on animals in 1989 following PETA’s very public “Avon Killing” campaign—a play on the company’s “Avon Calling” brand. Mary Kay eliminated animal tests the same year after the company was lampooned by cartoonist Berkeley Breathed in his Bloom County strip in a series called “Night of the Mary Kay Commandos.” Estée Lauder eliminated animal tests the following year. These companies’ bans on the use of animals for product testing began a new marketing era for consumer products, and dozens of other companies soon prohibited all tests on animals and began marketing their products as cruelty-free.
“Avon, Estée Lauder, and Mary Kay have regressed a generation: Their products are once again being dripped into rabbits’ eyes and smeared onto animals’ abraded skin,” says PETA Vice President of Laboratory Investigations Kathy Guillermo. “Fortunately, consumers don’t have to backslide with them—we can still choose to purchase products from the more than 1,000 companies on PETA’s list of companies that do not test on animals.”
PETA is financially supporting the efforts of the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS.org) to promote the Chinese government’s acceptance of non-animal testing methods that are in wide use in the U.S. and the E.U. IIVS is spearheading an international consortium to represent companies that wish to market in countries where tests on animals are required.
Tell Cosmetics Companies to Stop Paying for Tests on Animals
After two decades of touting their “no animal testing” policies, Avon, Estée Lauder, and Mary Kay have quietly resumed paying for cruel tests on animals.
UNCAGED FORCES AVON TO RETRACT FRAUDULENT CRUELTY-FREE CLAIMS
‘Avon does not test products or ingredients on animals, nor do we request others to do so on our behalf.’
Uncaged, one of the UK’s leading experts on animal experimentation, informed the ASA that this statement was untrue. On the contrary, Avon themselves have admitted in correspondence and on their global website that they carry out toxicity testing on animals.
Avon explain that their refusal to stop animal testing is due to their desire to be able to incorporate new chemicals into their products, as they believe innovation will maximise their profits.
Uncaged’s victory for truth and decency follows their similar successful complaint against Procter & Gamble last year over deceptive claims regarding their Herbal Essences brand. Uncaged point out that misleading animal testing claims are endemic in the multi-national consumer goods industry, and are calling upon the Government to take action to defend consumers and tackle unnecessary cruelty to animals.
Dr Dan Lyons, Uncaged’s Campaigns Director comments:
‘Sadly, these large animal testing companies appear to have a policy of systematically misleading consumers rather than responding to their overwhelming opposition to gratuitous cruelty to animals. Given that a large majority of people are opposed to these tests, we believe that we are witnessing a multimillion pound fraud as consumers purchase products on the basis of deceptive claims about their provenance.
Furthermore, lobbying by the cosmetics industry appears to have forced the EU to break a popular promise to ban animal-tested cosmetics from the European market. Therefore, the need for honest and accurate information to allow consumers to make informed decisions has never been greater.’
Again, fur flies over animal testing of cosmetics
From MaryKay.com website:Mary Kay Inc. is committed to the elimination of animal testing and is a strong advocate of utilizing alternative methods to substantiate the safety of our ingredients and products. We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to do so on our behalf, except when absolutely required by law. For more than two decades, we have been a global leader in helping to develop alternative testing methods for product safety. This commitment continues today, in partnership with global regulatory agencies that manage cosmetic safety, with animal advocacy groups and with leading animal alternative researchers.
From EsteeLauder.com website:
The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is committed to the elimination of animal testing. We are equally committed to consumer health and safety, and bringing to market products that comply with applicable regulations in every country in which our products are sold. We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law. We evaluate our finished products in clinical tests on volunteer panels. Estée Lauder fully supports the development and global acceptance of non-animal testing alternatives. To this end, the Company works extensively with the industry at large and the global scientific community to research and fund these alternatives.
From AvonCompany.com website:
The safety of our consumers is of primary concern to Avon. We are committed to selling only safe products, using only safe ingredients in our cosmetics products and complying with applicable regulations in the more than 100 countries in which Avon products are sold. Within this commitment, we also have a deep respect for animal welfare.
In June 1989 Avon announced a permanent end to animal testing of our products, including testing done in outside laboratories. Avon was the first major cosmetic company in the world to end animal testing.
For more than 20 years Avon has independently substantiated the safety of its products without animal testing.
Avon does not conduct nor request animal testing in order to substantiate the safety or efficacy of any of its products or raw ingredients.
We had a reply from Mary Kay and this is what it said:
Thank you for your email.
Mary Kay is committed to the elimination of animal testing! Mary Kay’s policy has always been consistent – nothing has changed: We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to do so on our behalf, except when absolutely required by law.
Regulations on cosmetics constantly change, but Mary Kay has never wavered from our commitment to use alternative testing methods. There is only one country where we operate, among more than 35 around the world, that by law under certain circumstances requires cosmetics to be tested on animals–China. When Mary Kay Inc. learned of requirements by regulatory agencies in China, we were obliged to follow the law, as we do in every country where we operate.
But, rest assured, our commitment to the elimination of animal testing has never changed or wavered. We are working very closely with the Chinese government to demonstrate that alternative testing methods ensure safe and effective products. For more than two decades Mary Kay has been a global leader in helping to develop alternative testing methods for product safety. We are committed to the elimination of animal testing.
Thank you for contacting us.
Mary Kay Customer Operations
We had a reply from Avon and this is what it said:
Thank you for your email sharing your concerns, and for giving us the opportunity to respond.
Avon does not conduct animal testing to substantiate the safety of any of its products. In fact, Avon was the first major cosmetics company to end animal testing more than 20 years ago.
Although Avon does not conduct animal testing to substantiate the safety of any of its products, some products may be required by law to undergo additional safety assessment in a few countries at the direction of a government or health agency and this may include animal testing. In these instances Avon always attempts to persuade the requesting authority to accept non-animal test data. If no compromise can be reached, we must comply with the requirement for additional testing. This is an issue facing all global beauty companies. We are not alone in this dilemma, and we continue to push for regulations that do not necessitate the use of animals.
Avon has worked to advance alternatives to animal testing for decades. Avon continues to support research into alternatives conducted by the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME) in the United Kingdom, the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University in the US and the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing. Most recently Avon joined the Scientific Advisory Panel of The Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), a non-profit research and testing organization dedicated to the advancement of in vitro (non-animal) methods worldwide and Avon became a Founding Sponsor of the American Society for Cellular Computational Toxicology. Finally, Avon works closely on this issue with other companies in the Beauty industry as a member of the US Personal Care Products Council.
Respect for animal welfare is a cornerstone of our product safety philosophy. We will continue to work actively to advance the use of alternatives to animal testing worldwide. We encourage you to call for the global acceptance of non-animal test data.
Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility
This is the comment on the Estée Lauder page: In response to some questions we’ve received regarding animal testing, we would like to clarify our position. More than 20 years ago, we were one of the first companies to end animal testing to substantiate the safety of our products. We would like to confirm that our commitment to end animal testing everywhere has not changed. Our products are not tested on animals except when absolutely mandated by law. We are committed to the universal acceptance of non-animal test methods with the goal of eliminating animal testing. We will continue to invest in scientific research to promote acceptance of non-animal test methods by authorities around the world. Information on our longstanding policy can be found at: http://elcompanies.com/PdfLibrary/Statement_AnimalTesting.pdf.
Avon withdraws animal test claims from website after complaints
6 March 2012