The low down on animal testing
This is George. I never want anything bad to ever happen to him. He is a treasure, but also a decoy. Animal testing is murky waters because of manufacturing and law in different countries. But it’s worth getting into.
It’s all a bit confusing to be honest, and as far as marketing goes, wording is almost always very careful and slightly misleading.
Here’s the deal: the EU has been gradually increasing the ban since 1998. In 2013, they introduced a ban on testing finished cosmetic products, ingredients and importing and selling new products tested on animals in another country.
Obviously this is really good. You’re pretty safe to buy a beauty product in the EU that hasn’t been tested on animals. India has a similar ban, as do New Zealand and Australia. The US doesn’t seem to have official legislation, but most companies do not test on animals – it’s still worth checking what you’re buying beforehand though. Brands that test on animals in other countries cannot call themselves completely cruelty free.
The main issue is China – they had a mandated requirement to test any imported cosmetic goods as well as domestically manufactured ones. This was because the government held responsibility for the safety of these products and they were covering their own back. As it stands, China has lifted the mandate on testing domestic products, but they still test imports.
Now the Chinese market is a big ‘un and a lot of the bigger corporations want to get in on that and so have to comply with that testing rule. Lots of smaller companies have refused to sell there because of this, but you’ll notice that a lot of the high end companies are affected.
Estee Lauder is one that crops up a lot. It’s an umbrella company that owns brands like Bobbi Brown, Clinique, La Mer, Jo Malone, MAC and Tom Ford. So all of those brands (and many more) will come under EL’s policy which is not to animal test unless required by law.
It doesn’t mean that if you own products from these brands that you now need to throw them all in the bin. It’s just worth being aware of what’s going on. We have spending power, in that wherever we choose to put our money can have an overall impact. So choosing to go with cruelty-free brands over those that test on animals will make a statement when enough people do it. That said, no one is perfect.
There are some really good brands that are cruelty free – coming up in the next post!