US animal rights group highlights labeling ambiguity

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cosmetics Personal care Animal rights

A campaign in the US has been launched by the Animal Protection
Institute (API) to highlight unclear labeling relating to cosmetic
and toiletry products that are claimed not to have been tested on

The animal advocacy group says that testing of cosmetic and personal care products in the US is still widespread and that a significant number of consumers want to avoid buying products that have been in any way tested on animals.

Currently many companies in the US label their products 'not tested on animals', but API says that those claims can be misleading. It says that this might refer to the product itself and not the ingredients, or else the company might outsource testing to another company that uses animals.

The API adds that this problem is further compounded by the fact that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows companies to use phrases such as 'cruelty-free' or 'not tested on animals' without restriction because no legal definition is applied to those terms.

On the back of this API is launching a campaign to highlight the ambiguities in labeling regulations, which is being supported by the Leaping Bunny program - claimed to be the only internationally recognized standard to guarantee products are free of animal testing.

"Compassionate consumers are a large, well-intentioned, economically powerful market, but they are being misled by cosmetics companies. Consumers wish to avoid animal testing when they shop. API's campaign will give them the tools to do so",​ said Michelle Thew, CEO of API.

Thew has spear-headed a similar campaign in Europe that ultimately led to a total ban on the testing of cosmetics products and ingredients on animals in the European Union. That ban is expected to be fully implemented in the next two to three years.

The Leaping Bunny program ensures that companies will not test their products or ingredients on animals and has so far been endorsed by Urban Decay, Hard Candy, The Body Shop, Kiss My Face and Jason Natural Cosmetics.

Related topics Formulation & Science

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