As you guys all The Body Shop has been one of those brands that has been actively fighting Against Animal Testing. Being a mama of a little Pomeranian I am all of brands supporting this cause and also not test on our defenseless animals.
Below are some questions that I was sent from The Body Shop which I thought would be super helpful and hopefully wil shed some light to you all who might not know about the fight against animal testing.
- Isn’t animal testing now banned? Why is it still an issue?
While there has been considerable progress following the EU ban, animal testing of cosmetic products and ingredients remains possible and is legally allowed in 80% of countries worldwide. The only way to make sure that the practice is ended once and for all is to build on the groundwork carried out by Cruelty Free International and The Body Shop since 1989 to ensure that an enforceable global ban is put in place.
Cruelty Free International estimates that more than 500,000 animals are used for testing every year. That’s 1,390 animals a day. A global ban would bring to a close decades of animal suffering and would ensure that customers everywhere can shop with the confidence that no animals were harmed for their cosmetics. It would also create a level playing field for companies across the world and would mean that animal testing could not be moved from country to country.
- Why are you still campaigning on Against Animal Testing, can’t you think of something more important in the world, like human rights abuses or climate change?
The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International were the first major organisations to campaign against animal testing in cosmetics. We first campaigned together back in 1989 (when Cruelty Free International was known as the BUAV). Since that time, we’ve helped to ban animal testing in cosmetics across the EU and influenced othr bans in countries like New Zealand, India and Taiwan. We welcome the fact that more and more countries have started bringing in legislation, but it can be complex and confusing when the details of the rules are different in different places.
- How do you know beauty consumers even care about this issue?
The Body Shop conducts regular market research with our customers and others globally. In 2016, we asked 6,000 of our customers world-wide what issues they wanted us to fight for and animal testing was the most popular.
We promised them we wouldn’t stop until we had finished the job of ending animal testing everywhere and forever.
- When you say animal testing in cosmetics, what do you mean?
Animal testing is done for both finished cosmetic products and ingredients, but predominantly ingredients. When we use the term “in cosmetics” we refer to both products and ingredients.
- Why doesn’t The Body Shop fund alternatives to animal testing like Lush does?
The Body Shop is a campaigning brand and we have always campaigned to end animal testing for cosmetics. We have a history of campaigning that goes back to the 1980s. We were the first global beauty brand to campaign against animal testing in our industry.
There are already a number of much more effective and reliable non-animal tests that are sufficient for cosmetic use now. The cosmetics industry in Europe – where animal testing is banned – has continued to grow and is worth more than EUR 70 billion, which is over one third of the global market for cosmetics (more than the US and Japan combined). The EU ban has also spurred on innovation, R&D and the development of non-animal tests. One example of alternatives to animal testing is Episkin. Alternatives like this give us the ability to campaign pragmatically to ban animal testing.
- Why is your new campaign calling for a UN convention; what will that do? /Will a UN convention really create a global ban?
We believe the best and only way of achieving a harmonised global ban on animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients is through an international convention that every country signs up to.
Together with Cruelty Free International we are asking the UN General Assembly to pass an international convention that will ban animal testing everywhere and forever. By creating international action at this level we will also be demonstrating the fact that the public believes the time to end animal testing for cosmetics is long gone and that the practice should stop everywhere and forever.
In summary, to finally place a global ban on the statute books, that ends animal testing in cosmetics everywhere and forever, we are aiming for an enforceable international multilateral treaty. We will be working to secure the support of as many countries as possible to sign up to the treaty, starting the process at the United Nations General Assembly by presenting a global petition and influencing member countries to table and back a resolution.A harmonised global ban would bring to a close decades of animal suffering, would create a level playing field for companies across the world and would mean that testing could not be moved from country to country.
- How will you achieve a UN convention?
Cruelty Free International and The Body Shop have partnered to deliver the largest and most ambitious campaign ever to seek a global ban on the use of animal testing in cosmetic products and ingredients. To do this, we need the help of our customers.
Achieving international rules begins with a UN member country taking a resolution to the UN General Assembly. It then requires support from all over the world to move forward.
The more voices raised in support of the campaign from every corner of the world, the more likely we are to succeed. That is why we are asking everyone, everywhere to support our campaign and add their voice tothe global call on the UN to ban animal testing for cosmetics. Sign our petition at thebodyshop.com/ban-animal-testing
Help make this the biggest ever petition to ban animal testing forever.
- Does a UN convention automatically mean it will be illegal for any company in any country to test on animals?
A convention constitutes international law and therefore is a legal document. However, in order for it to be fully effective it would need to be ratified by each member country to incorporate it into national law. It is therefore even more important that we demonstrate overwhelming global and public support for this ban to have all countries sign up to it. Enforcement measures can be written into the terms of the convention. In theory, this means that if a member country failed to address systematic breaches by a company they could have enforcement measures taken against them.
- 500,000 animals a year sounds like a lot. How do you calculate that?
No one knows the true extent of cosmetics testing on animals: most countries that still permit the testing of cosmetics products and their ingredients on animals do not collect or monitor the number of animals used and fewer still publish them.Based on the information that is available, Cruelty Free International estimates that the total number of animals used each year worldwide in cosmetics testing to be approximately 500,000.
Around 150 new ingredients are introduced annually by cosmetics companies in Europe. It is likely that similar numbers proportionate to market size apply to the US, China, Brazil, Japan and India. This could total around 450 ingredients introduced across the world each year.
The testing of just one new ingredient for a deodorant, hair dye or sunscreen for example – using guidelines set by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – could involve the death of around 1,400 animals.
- How many countries still allow tests on animals?
80%* of the world’s countries would still allow the testing of cosmetic products and ingredients on animals.
[* Most authorities recognise that there are 195 countries in the world – 39 countries have either testing and marketing bans or some form of testing ban.]
- Which countries have banned animal testing?
All member states of the European Union and Norway have a ban on animal testing for cosmetics and on the sale of cosmetics tested on animals.
New Zealand, India, Israel, Norway, South Korea, Taiwan, Switzerland, Turkey, Guatemala and Vietnam have some form of legislation.
Things are moving in Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Thailand, the USA, Russia and China
Correct as of 20 April 2017.
- What tests are carried out on animals and what are they supposed to prove. Are they effective?
Cosmetics ingredients and substances are dripped into animals’ eyes or smeared on to their skin; animals can also be injected, force-fed or made to inhale these substances. Animals may be injured in the process or suffer the damaging results of the chemicals. Typical effects include inflamed organs, irritated noses and stomach linings, lethargy, breathing problems, stained fur, excessive salivation, and even convulsions and death. The animals are usually killed at the end of days, weeks or even years. The information obtained from these cruel tests is then used in an attempt to demonstrate that a product is safe for human use and in many cases is only 40-60% effective.
- What alternatives exist and how effective are they?
Much progress has been made in establishing alternative non-animal testing methods, and these progressive alternatives are often cheaper, faster and better at predicting human reactions. There are also thousands of already-approved ingredients and existing products available.
Humane alternatives to animal tests can use simple organisms like bacteria or human tissues and cells as well as sophisticated computer models:
- Almost every type of human and animal cell can now be grown in the laboratory. Scientists have even managed to coax cells to grow into 3D structures, such as miniature human organs, which can provide a more realistic way to test.
- Human cells donated from volunteers can provide a more relevant way of studying human biology than animal testing. For example, tests using reconstituted human skin and other tissues have been developed and are used to replace the cruel rabbit eye and skin irritation tests. Companies like EpiSkin now produce these tests in easy to use kits for companies to test their cosmetics. EpiSkin was founded by L’Oreal and is now considered a world leader in skin technology.
- With the growing sophistication of computers, the ability to replicate aspects of the human body is ever more possible. Computer models can be used to predict the safety of new cosmetic substances based on knowledge of existing substances.
- Recent advances in toxicological science, bioinformatics and systems biology have provided the means to transform toxicology into a predictive science that takes a multi-disciplinary approach, integrating in vitro methods with computational based methodologies (in silico).
- Why is harmonised legislation important?
While there has been considerable progress following the EU ban, animal testing for cosmetics remains possible and is legally allowed in 80% of countries worldwide. Cruelty Free International estimates that more than 500,000 animals are used for testing every year. That’s 1,390 animals a day. The only way to make sure that the practice is ended once and for all is to build on the groundwork carried out by Cruelty Free International and The Body Shop since the 1980s to ensure that an enforceable harmonised global ban is put in place.
A harmonised global ban would bring to a close decades of animal suffering and would ensure that customers everywhere can shop with the confidence that no animals were harmed for their cosmetics. It would also create a level playing field for companies across the world and would mean that testing could not be moved from country to country.
- You say Animal Testing legislation is currently complex and confusing – why?
Rules on animal testing in cosmetic products and ingredients are a confusing patchwork. Legislation differs around the world, with some countries banning cosmetics that have been animal-tested after a certain date (e.g. the EU), others outlawing animal testing for cosmetics products and ingredients (e.g. New Zealand), others ruling out animal testing for some, but not all, cosmetics products and ingredients (e.g. South Korea, Taiwan), and some banning only certain tests (e.g. Vietnam). [Refer to Question 10 for map of countries and further explanation]
More and more countries require non-animal safety tests and many have taken steps to prohibit cosmetics testing on animals, but more work needs to be done to harmonise the rules. Because most countries around the world would still allow animal testing for cosmetics, a global ban is the only way to eliminate animal suffering and to create an international level playing field.
Harmonising safety testing requirements globally would allow companies to avoid unnecessary bureaucracy and test duplication when accessing international markets to fill the consumer demand for safe and humane cosmetics.
- X product has a Leaping Bunny logo but Y product doesn’t. Does this mean only some of the Body Shop products are certified cruelty-free?
The Leaping Bunny logo is being added to all of our packaging in a steady process. Some products may not have the logo on the packaging because there is not enough space, but it will contain the words ‘Against Animal Testing’ instead. You can be rest assured that it’s still certified by Cruelty Free International.