Whilst more and more brands are opting out of testing their cosmetic products on animals and ending this cruel practice, several brands unfortunately still do test on animals. However, many brands claim to have not tested on animals, but such companies can make deceptive claims, as the FDA does not regulate them. This article will be talking about everything you need to know about cruelty free cosmetic products and the best ways to check whether a product is truly cruelty free.
1) Companies can label their products with deceptive claims:
Several products are labelled with ‘not tested on animals’ but did you know that these claims might actually be false? The finished product itself may not have been tested on animals but that doesn’t mean the ingredients contained in the product have not been tested, especially if there are new ingredients. Not only that, companies may get their ingredients from other suppliers that test on animals, even if they don’t test the ingredients on animals themselves, meaning that the company is not cruelty free.A company can get away with this, since the FDA does not regulate such claims, so brands can put anything they like on their labels and not be prosecuted by the law.
2) The company may not test on animals themselves, but employ third parties in China:
Whilst companies may not carry out animal testing themselves, if companies choose to sell their products in China, it means that they are allowing for animal testing to take place there. This is because it is mandatory by law for foreign brands to undergo animal testing and since the market in China is so profitable, many companies choose to sell their products there. That is not to say that cosmetics manufactured in China have to be tested on animals because China no longer requires products manufactured within the country to undergo animal testing, however this does not apply to cosmetics manufactured outside of China. However, it is also important to note that the requirement for foreign brands to undergo animal testing before they are sold, does not apply when sold in Hong Kong. So for instance, brands such as Lush are sold in Hong Kong but not anywhere else in China, therefore it is cruelty free.
3) The parent company may not be cruelty free:
Many companies are owned by larger, parent companies that may not be cruelty free. For instance, the brand L’oreal owns Maybelline and Lancôme, which are not cruelty free brands, but they also own NYX and The body shop, which are cruelty free brands. Now it can be argued that despite the parent company, the brand itself does not involve animal testing, which means that itself is cruelty free, however some people tend to steer away from such brands since the profits acquired by the cruelty free brand will unfortunately go to the parent company. This means, that although you are purchasing from a cruelty free brand, you may be supporting a company that tests on animals in an indirect manner.
4) How do I know that a brand is cruelty free?
As I have already mentioned, simply looking for a label that says the product has not been tested on animals is not enough to guarantee that it is cruelty free. The best indicator that a product is cruelty free is the leaping bunny logo as it is a recognized logo that no animal testing was carried out of the product. Another way in which you can know whether a brand is cruelty free, is to see whether it is on the PETA list of cruelty free brands; the brands that appear on this list have signed PETA’s statement of assurance or they have sent in a declaration to confirm that they don’t test on animals. Once PETA gives the company the thumbs up, they are able to license PETA’s cruelty free bunny logo. There are also some cruelty free brands which don’t have these logos, since they don’t wish to pay the associated extra fee, however checking the Leaping Bunny and PETA lists will let you know which ones are.
6) Why are there some brands that appear on PETA’s list but not on the Leaping Bunny’s list?
It may seem confusing that PETA and Leaping Bunny feature different products on their lists but that is because they have different ways of determining whether a company is cruelty free or not. As explained earlier, PETA require a signed declaration, however the Leaping Bunny authenticate the cruelty free claims of a company through independent investigation, so the process is more rigorous and therefore arguably makes Leaping bunny’s list more reliable than PETA’s list.
I hope that this article was informative and gave you some further insight into what you need to look for, when purchasing cruelty free products. Unfortunately it isn’t as simple as simply checking a label, there are many things you need to look out for but all the information you need is readily available.
I hope you enjoyed my article and I’ll be back soon with another one!
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