Has it ever crossed your mind that your favourite shampoos ingredients may have been tested on animals? Unfortunately animal testing has not been completely phased out as most people assume. Even previously ethical companies like The Body Shop are now owned by L’oréal, and suddenly their ‘against animal testing’ logos have disappeared off their products.

However a total ban on animal testing of cosmetics only comes into effect in March 2013, and until then animals outside of Europe will continue to be used in repeated-dose toxicity, reproductive toxicity and toxicokinetics for which non-animal alternatives are not yet available.

The 7th Amendment to the Cosmetics Directive

In 2003, the EU agreed to end the testing of cosmetics and their ingredients on animals. This 7th Amendment to the Cosmetics Directive requires a total ban on the testing of cosmetics on animals from 2013 whether or not non-animal alternatives are available. Skin Corrosion, phototoxicity and skin absorption tests are no longer carried out on animals.

The 7th Amendment to the Cosmetics Directive will include a marketing ban on products coming into the EU from elsewhere in the world (which have possibly been tested on animals). It is made clear in the Amendment that responsibility lies with the company to monitor the supply chain and ensure, no ingredients are used, which have been tested on animals.

The ban on cosmetics testing on animals will come into effect “only if alternatives have been developed.” I do not doubt that some cosmetics companies are happy to have this loophole. This clause takes away consumer choice for non-animal tested products.

Fixed Cut off Date Policy

Luckily there are companies are coming on board and are committing to being animal friendly. As Naturewatch points out, companies who operate a fixed cut-off date policy are deemed to be cruelty free.

Basically this means that a company will not buy finished products or ingredients that have been animal tested after a certain date eg: 1986. This is the most effective way of sending a clear message to the whole industry that the company neither sees a need for animal testing- nor is prepared to profit from animal tested ingredients. If a company does not use a fixed cut-off date policy (FCOD policy), it still profits from animal testing by providing a need for animal tested ingredients.

Five Year Rolling programme

This programme is where the company or manufacturer does not use ingredients that have been animal-tested within the last five years. This means the company makes no commitment against animal testing and is still profiting from and continuing animal testing. The company delaying buying an animal tested ingredient for five years makes little difference to most suppliers, as they know that companies will buy the ingredients eventually.
The Humane Cosmetics Standard has a “leaping bunny” logo as a guarantee to consumers that the product has not been tested on animals nor contains ingredients that were tested on animals.

Company practice

Being aware of parent company practices is essential if you want to avoid funding animal testing. Many of my friends believe they are buying ethical products when purchasing from The Body Shop. However The Body Shop was sold to L’Oreal in 2006, which means L’Oreal (a company that still test on animals) profits from your purchases.

Another huge company who have caused controversy in regards to animal testing are Procter & Gamble. In 2001 and 2003 P& G company IAMS/Eukanuba’s were exposed by the press and media for needless invasive and deadly tests on hundreds of cats, dogs and other animals. These horrifying experiments caused organ failure, obesity, malnutrition, liver damage, painful allergic reactions, diarrhoea, severe skin disorders, skin wounds and many other painful conditions. P&G have also been guilty of doing tests which aren’t even a legal requirement on chemicals that have been used safely for years.
In 2003 IAMS/Eukanuba were found to have kept dogs in appalling condition, after being force-fed vegetable oil, and other needless invasive experiments. The dogs’ voice-boxes were removed so stop them from howling in pain.

Increase in legislation has led to many companies outsourcing their testing to Asia (especially Singapore and China) where regulations are not so strict.

What you can do

Animal testing continues partly due to the ignorance of shoppers so get informed! To be up to date on what companies are acclaimed by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), and deemed to be cruelty free visit the go to Cruelty Free Websites. Try to buy everything from companies who are on this list or operate a FCOD policy and therefore have no need to test on animals.

Do not be fooled by fancy advertising- any product claiming to have a new ingredient and works better than ever means it must have been tested on animals.
Support companies like Lush who not only sell vegetarian and vegan products, are against animal testing but also don’t do business with manufacturers who test on animals on ANY of their products. Spread the word among your friends and colleagues about companies who animal test, and boycott all products from anyone who perpetuates animal testing. There are plenty of cruelty free options out there so have fun trying them!


They don’t want to talk about it. They don’t want you to know about it. But behind the glossy advertising and famous celebrities, the biggest cosmetics company in the world hides a shameful secret. Despite knowing the overwhelming public revulsion, L’Oreal continues to use thousands of animals to test upon every year. L’Oreal does not want to reveal animal testing to their customers, and they certainly don’t want to reveal the disgusting range of tests carried out on the animals. In the name of vanity, animals are subjected to painful and cruel ingredient testing by the industry. Disgraceful eye irritation tests are conducted by securing rabbits so they are immobile while substances are dropped into their eyes (rabbits are used because they have no tear ducts and therefore cannot relieve the stinging and pain). Poisoning takes place whereby groups of animals are continually force-fed an ingredient until half of the group die. Other animals have their skin shaved and scraped until super-sensitive, then the ingredient is applied to test skin reaction – making sure that the poor animal cannot scratch or remove the substance. It is hard to imagine the pain suffered by these defenseless animals. But we all know how sore it can be when we get something in our eye or our skin is scraped – at least we can immediately do something to relieve the pain. Think of what it would be like if we were unable to touch or stop the pain, not just for a minute or two but for hours running into days. It’s simply so disgraceful! And, I have only briefly mentioned three tests – there are a further six animal tests used by the cosmetics industry.

These Poor Animals

January 14, 2011

HUMAN skin, eyes, the lining of the throat — snippets of these and other tissues are now routinely grown in test tubes from donated human cells. The goal is not to patch up ailing people but to use the human tissues in place of mice, dogs or other lab animals for testing new drugs, cosmetics and other products.

The methods for engineering tissue samples are among the most complex of an expanding portfolio of technologies intended to eliminate or reduce animal testing. In other cases, testing is being conducted virtually, using computers and simulation software. And for some tests, people have replaced animals: volunteers get microdoses of potential drugs that can be analyzed but cause no ill effects.

The development of such alternatives is a tale of creeping technical innovation, exemplifying what happens when slowly accumulating pressure for change encounters a major scientific challenge.

“Nothing has gone faster than we expected,” said Alan M. Goldberg, a toxicology professor and director of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University, a nonprofit research group founded in 1981. “That’s our big disappointment.”

By conservative estimates, tens of millions of animals are killed or maimed each year in research on the safety and effectiveness of new drugs, agricultural chemicals and consumer products. For companies, animal testing can be a public relations nightmare, involving confrontations with animal-rights activists, or less intense but still negative reactions from consumers.

The high costs and concerns about reliability, however, have been the biggest forces behind the shift away from tests on animals. Industry executives say that as much as 25 percent of the drugs tested on animals failed to show side effects that later proved serious enough to prevent the drugs from being marketed. To avoid such mistakes, companies often test products on multiple species and large numbers of animals.

Concern about the costs and questionable benefits of animal testing has been growing since the 1970s, and the number of lab animals sacrificed in the United States has fallen since then by nearly 50 percent among the species tracked by the Department of Agriculture; the total was 1.18 million in 2005, the last year for which numbers have been reported. The government’s statistics are limited to cats, dogs, primates and a few other species and do not cover birds or fish, or the most common lab animals, mice and rats.

“It’s hard to say whether the overall numbers are down or up,” said Martin Stephens, vice president of animal research issues at the Humane Society of the United States.

Developing the alternative methods has turned out to be daunting partly because it takes years of testing to satisfy users and regulators that the results are as accurate or better than animal trials. Many researchers believe the caution is justified.

David B. Warheit, who oversees research at DuPont on the potential hazards of new nanoscale materials, cited his own experience as an example. Nanoscale particles, so-named because they are measured in nanometers, or billionths of a meter, are so tiny they can slip easily inside cells. That might pose novel hazards, and some reported tests of carbon nanoparticles, called fullerenes, had shown alarmingly that they killed various human cell samples in test tubes.

But when DuPont researchers injected the fullerenes into the lungs of rats, the animals’ immune systems apparently removed them before any lasting damage was done. For various reasons, Mr. Warheit said, he believes the live-rat studies produced a more accurate reading on the risks than the test-tube experiments did.

Still, in-vitro tests using human cells have been making headway. Analysts estimate that businesses spent $716 million last year for contract research at labs that specialize in such alternative techniques.

The field is crowded with start-up companies like MatTek, Admet and Xceleron. MatTek, a small company in Ashland, Mass., grows human tissues for testing from donor cells. The tissues take up to four weeks to grow in the test kits in which they are shipped, said John Sheasgreen, the company’s president. Up to three types of cells might be combined in a single tissue to produce realistic behavior, he said.

Admet owns In Vitro Laboratories, which charges up to $20,000 to screen a drug against liver cells and other human tissues for toxic effects. To get the same information from animals, a drug company would have to use much more of the drug, wait a lot longer and pay for the upkeep and eventual autopsies of the animals it used, said Albert P. Li, chairman of Admet. “We’re not making a huge profit,” he added, “but we’re making a living.”

Charles River Laboratories, the world’s largest supplier of genetically engineered rodents for labs, also has a subsidiary called Endosafe, which provides an alternative to the testing of solutions in rabbits’ eyes for contamination with fever-producing bacteria. The test, which can be as cheap as $5, has not only replaced most rabbit testing in quality-control rooms at drug company factories but is also finding a market at dialysis centers as a check on water quality, the company said.

“We are the fastest-growing division in Charles River with the highest margins,” said Foster Jordan, head of Endosafe. “There’s a business incentive to push this.”

Other small companies, like Entelos, in Foster City, Calif., supply computer simulation programs for virtual testing. Such software incorporates hundreds of variables to simulate how humans who suffer from conditions like asthma, obesity or Type 1 or 2 diabetes will react to a new drug.

But in many ways the alternatives are driven by a few giants eager to move from animal testing for scientific, business and image reasons. Proctor & Gamble has spent $225 million developing and deploying alternative testing methods for a wide range of personal-care and pet food products over the last 20 years, said Len Sauers, the executive who oversees the work.

And L’Oréal, the French cosmetics giant, says it has spent more than $800 million over the same period. That includes deals to buy Episkin and SkinEthic, two companies that make alternative tests.

“This is not an area of competition for us,” said Patricia Pineau, L’Oréal Research’s spokeswoman, who said that its tissue testing products and services were sold at cost to other companies, including rivals like P.&G. and Unilever.

Those cooperative impulses are being driven by European regulators, who have set 2009 as a deadline for all animal testing on cosmetics. Another push has come from European legislation, which requires companies to provide safety data for about 30,000 chemicals over the next 11 years. Estimates found that the program could require killing an additional 3.9 million animals, but regulators have responded by putting heavy pressure on industry to develop and validate alternatives.

As a result, Mr. Stephens said, European regulators and industries have a 10-year lead in adopting alternatives in the United States, where there have been no similar government mandates to reduce animal testing. But American advocates who want to move from animal testing have been heartened by a recent study from the National Academy of Sciences, which was sponsored by the EPA.

“The report says we now have the tools to look much more closely on how toxicity occurs, and that we have to do it on human cells,” said Rodger D. Curren, president of the Institute for In-Vitro Sciences, a nonprofit testing center in Gaithersburg, Md. The study concluded that over time, the use of animals for testing could be greatly reduced and possibly eliminated.

Many cosmetics companies misleadingly claim their products are ‘not tested on animals’ but are not so keen to admit that they still use animal-tested ingredients. In these crude poisoning tests, chemicals are force-fed to animals, injected into them, dripped into their eyes and rubbed into their raw skin. Here is an overview that explains how to recognize the companies that try to give the impression they are cruelty-free, when they’re not!

Cosmetics companies can, broadly speaking, be divided into three categories with regard to their animal testing policies.

  1. Chemical-producing companies that test on animals themselves or pay researchers to carry out animal tests on their behalf e.g.Beiersdorf
    Johnson & Johnson
    PZ Cussons
    Procter & Gamble
    Reckitt Benckiser

    They tend to be larger companies and often have a raft of different cosmetic brands, for example ‘Dove’ and ‘Organics’ are Unilever brands. ‘Herbal Essences’ and ‘Max Factor’ are P&G brands. ‘Garnier’ and ‘Lancome’ are L’Oreal brands, the Body Shop are now owned by L’Oreal too. So rule number one is always look to see who the parent company is.

  2. The second category are cosmetics companies that tend not to test on animals themselves but continue to buy, use and benefit financially from chemical ingredients that have recently been tested on animals by their suppliers. Many cosmetic brands fall into this category e.g.

    Boots brands
    Estee Lauder


    Most of them are very clever at deceiving the public with the claims they make about animal testing.

  3. The final category consists of companies that adhere to a Fixed Cut Off Date scheme. This means that the company will not buy or use ingredients that have been tested on animals by themselves or their suppliers after a set date (e.g. 1995). This is the only method by which manufacturers can send a clear message to their suppliers and the rest of the industry that the company is not prepared to profit from animal tested ingredients. Most animal testing for cosmetics takes place on “new to the world” chemicals. There are already thousands of chemicals with a proven safety record available.

You may be wondering why these companies are so keen to have access to new chemicals, especially when the majority of consumers are against animal testing for cosmetics? Well it’s so they can market their products as ‘new’ and ‘improved’ – basically so they can make more money. For example P&G claim that their Olay Regenerist moisturizer beautifully regenerates skins’ appearance – thanks to their new Amino-Peptide Complex. And that their Total Effects moisturizer contains an exclusive VitaNiacin formula (the science part!). P&G and others are filling their products with all sorts of new chemical ingredients. It’s to boost their marketing hype and P&G are recognized as world leaders. These companies are taking a gamble on the fact that most consumers assume that cosmetics are no longer tested on animals or are unable to see through their cleverly worded ‘animal testing policies’.

Why it’s wrong.

January 13, 2011

Animal Research: Cons
Animal testing statistics are alarming. To discover new medicines and vaccinations, millions of animals are killed every year all across the globe. Animal rights are lost in oblivion when it comes to animal testing ethics. In this part of animal research pros and cons, we focus on Animal Testing Cons.

  • Animals go through severe pain during the tests. Most testers claim they use anesthesia to conduct the tests. However, can pricking needles and using chemicals on animals be painless? Who knows if they use anesthesia safely? Just because animals can’t speak, are they subject to such treatments?
  • Months of torture leads to loss of eyesight loss, organ failure and many more dangerous consequences on animal health. Just to see the affects of chemicals, animals are imprisoned and observed over certain period of time. Meanwhile, they go through hell and eventually death. Majority of animals are killed in the process.
  • Animal testing in cosmetic industry is another issue that has raised serious concerns over animal safety. Why to kill animals for enhancing beauty, that is often harmful for skin. Why not adopt natural means for beauty?
  • Animals have been forced to mutate and produce cross springs. Embryos of different animals are injected in a different animal body.
  • Animal cloning is another phenomena that has been tried several times. Why to reduce the dignity of animal lives? Mostly, hybrid animals and cloned ones are either diseased, malformed and even dead.
  • Animal cruelty has risen to peaks after stem cell and tissue culture has become popular. Scientists are suggesting to find cure for cancer by trying all experiments on animals. How ethical is it?
  • A study suggests that less than 2% of illnesses that affects humans are ever found in animals. Even rodents (rats) that are mostly used in cancer research; rarely suffer from human form of cancer (lung cancer etc). Why are they still used in such researches?

L’Oreal = Liar

January 13, 2011

“The L’Oréal Group has not conducted animal testing since 1989.”
Hmmmm….but, in fact, while L’Oreal does not conduct testing, it includes ingredients that have been tested on animals. Therefore, it is neatly sidestepping the issue with the above statement.


January 13, 2011

L’Oreal is one of the largest cosmetics companies in the world. It produces and markets a range of make-up, perfume, hair and skin care products. The company’s products are sold under well-known brands such as L’Oreal Paris, Garnier, Maybelline, SoftSheen Carson, CCB Paris, L’Oreal Professionel, Kerastase, and Redken.
It markets 19 global brands through three divisions: cosmetics (comprising of skincare, haircare, make-up, hair colorants, perfumes and other products), The Body Shop (it has become a part of L’Oreal after its acquisition in March 2006) and dermatology (comprising of drugs for acne treatment and others).
The cosmetics division of L’Oreal operates through four segments: professional products, consumer products, luxury products and active cosmetics. L’Oreal has a diversified geographic presence. The company currently has operations in over 130 countries across five continents.
The different brands associated to the four divisions of l’Oréal

European statistics showed that France used 2.3 million animals in 2005 while Germany used 1.8 million animals in that same year for testing purposes. National UK statistics contrasted somewhat because they showed that for 2004, France used 2.3 million animals while in 2005, Germany used 2.4 million. Statistics for 2005 showed that Finland and Ireland both decreased their use of animals. In contrast, Sweden, Spain and Greece all increased their use of animals, either doubling or near-doubling their use.

Across all of Europe, there are approximately 12.1 million animal testing experiments performed each year. While there is some debate regarding the statistics of which country is the highest tester of animals, Britain is thought to be the top user of animals with its use of nearly three million animal experiments each year. France is a very close second and generates a large amount of debate given that L’oreal – a major global cosmetics company – is based in France and still tests on animals. Europe’s overall laboratory use of animals has actually increased very recently by 3.2 percent. This contrasts with the fall in animal testing over the last few decades. It’s also important to note that one of the biggest animal testers from a global perspective is Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), which is based in Europe. HLS kills approximately 75,000 animals each year.

A light introduction

January 13, 2011