Animal Testing Bites Cosmetic Companies Again

Ooops. I read this story about Avon and animal testing and it looks like they are in a bit of trouble. According to the story, Avon is being sued (along with Estee Lauder and Mary Kay) for conducting animal testing while claiming that they don’t.

The reason, they sell products in China and the Chinese government requires animal testing of cosmetic products.

Animal testing in China

These companies are in a bit of a bind. They like the sales (and the potential is huge) from China but they must comply with the regulations of the country. If you want to sell cosmetics in China, you have to test your products on animals.

The reported position of these companies is that they do not test on animals or ask other companies to test on animals “…except when absolutely required by law.”

The problem for them is that they tout themselves as a cruelty free company that does not test on animals. They didn’t include the foot note “…except when absolutely required by law” in their advertising. They really should have.

Unfair treatment

Of course, I don’t think allowing any company to claim their products are “cruelty free” is right. Companies who have conducted and continue to conduct animal testing for cosmetic ingredients should not be tarred and feathered because of their actions. It is these companies that have made it possible for other companies to create their “cruelty free” cosmetics. Almost every ingredient that is used in cosmetics was tested on animals. The only reason a “cruelty free” product can exist is because some company, some time in the past tested the ingredients on animals.

Hopefully, this issue will be going away in the next 5 to 10 years when we finally develop animal testing alternatives that work and are acceptable to governments. But until then, companies shouldn’t be claiming that they don’t test on animals when they do and they shouldn’t be claiming “cruelty free” while using chemicals that were previously tested on animals.

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