New research by PETA U.S. suggests that nine leading cosmetics companies may be quietly breaking U.K. and European law by continuing to sell products that are also marketed in China, where tests on animals are required for all imported cosmetics. Estée Lauder admitted the apparent violation, and the other companies did not deny engaging in the practice in a Sunday Times article that covered PETA U.S.’ findings.
PETA U.K. is now demanding that the U.K. government investigate retailers—including Benefit, Bliss, Caudalie, Clarins, Clinique, Dior, Estée Lauder, Gucci, and Revlon—for possible violations of the groundbreaking Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations adopted in 2013, which ban U.K. marketing of cosmetics products and ingredients tested on animals.
The Chinese government requires tests on animals before many cosmetics products can be marketed in China. Experiments to assess the toxicity of cosmetics products include the notorious Draize Test, in which rabbits’ eyelids are held open and chemicals are dripped, sprayed, or rubbed into their eyes—all while they’re restrained in stocks so that they cannot struggle or wipe their eyes. In the similarly horrific skin test, chemicals are typically rubbed onto the shaved skin of rabbits to check for the severity of the reaction before they’re killed or “washed off” and reused.
Every company that sells cosmetics in China knows animals will die for eye shadow. This is inexcusable—especially if those who support these companies have no idea that their trust has been betrayed. Caring consumers have the right to know whether products they buy in good faith have secretly been tested on animals.
In 2013, Europe set an ethical example for the world by banning the sale of cosmetics products and ingredients tested on animals, based on the principle that any perceived benefit of such testing can never outweigh the harm caused to animals. But that ban is meaningless if it’s not rigorously enforced.
What You Can Do
Please buy cosmetics and personal-care products only from companies that don’t test on animals.