A probe into the beauty industry by CHOICE has discovered that many leading cosmetics brands are engaging in cruel animal testing. Their labelling, meanwhile, continues to assert that the products are "cruelty free" and sometimes carries a meaningless bunny logo.
Rabbit picture from Shutterstock
"While major cosmetic companies are purporting to be ‘cruelty-free’, a CHOICE investigation has found their websites, packaging and sales staff are failing to inform Australian customers that their beauty products are tested on animals in China," the consumer Watchdog said in a statement.
Chinese legislation requires skin and eye irritation tests to be conducted on animals before cosmetics can be sold to humans. This has caused many western brands, including SK II, Lancome, Dior, Clarins and M.A.C, to conduct animal testing in the region without informing consumers worldwide.
During its investigation, CHOICE found that only a fraction of companies that claimed not to use animal testing were actually certified by an independent third party. Some brands carried logos of rabbits to give the appearance of official certification, but these were "simply nice drawings."
CHOICE also found that sales staff in Australia were often ignorant about the testing practices of the brands they sold. Perfume employees at David Jones and Myer claimed their products weren’t tested on animals and that animal testing was illegal around the world.
“Cosmetic brands need to be upfront about their animal testing whether it be on their websites, packaging or via employees at cosmetic counters. They are bound by law to give consumers the correct information and we have found many of them are not. CHOICE will be referring this issue to the ACCC,” said CHOICE researcher Zoya Sheftalovich.
"Australian consumers who oppose animal testing of cosmetics should be able to make informed decisions about which products to purchase, and this ability is being compromised across the board.”
Below is a (non-exhaustive) list of companies whose products are tested on animals according to PETA. Is your current brand of choice on this list?
|Bumble and Bumble|
|Clean and Clear|
|Head & Shoulders|
Would you stop using -- or encourage your wife/girlfriend to stop using -- a makeup brand that tested on animals? Or is the guilt worth the price of looking fabulous? Let us know in the comments section below.
Animal testing labelling [CHOICE]