The charity Uncaged recently accused P&G of 'cruel and unnecessary' animal testing and is organising a boycott of the company's product range Herbal Essences. 'Unnecessary' animal tests According to the organisation, the manufacturers of the well known hair care range tested the preservative ingredient butylparaben on pregnant rats - a test it claimed was not necessary as scientific evidence already shows the chemical to be safe. It has now embarked on a campaign against the company and the products renaming the range 'Hurtful Essences'. However, the US-based manufacturer has responded by saying that the testing of the chemical in question was performed at the request of European regulators, and underlined that P&G Beauty products are not tested on animals. "Uncaged are referring to a study involving Butylparaben which P&G conducted at the request of EU regulators in 2004 on behalf of the entire cosmetics industry to ensure the continued safe use of parabens," P&G's Marina Barker told CosmeticsDesign. Tests on safety of parabens Parabens are commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics products. They have been used widely for many years however have recently encountered criticism regarding their potential impact on reproductive health. A growing number of human and environmental health campaigners are calling for more tests on the chemical or a ban on its use. The tests performed by P&G on butylparaben were carried out in order to alleviate such concerns surrounding the chemical at the request of regulators, explained Barker. In addition Barker says that the test methods, also criticised by Uncaged, follow international guidelines which ensures they are accepted by the industry as a whole and therefore alleviate the need to unnecessarily repeat tests. P&G targeted In Barker's opinion the company is being unfairly targeted by the charity. "With regards to Uncaged, unfortunately they really aren't interested in establishing the facts and will continue to target P&G to drive their campaign." Uncaged admits to targeting P&G, saying that as the company is so large and influential it should take more responsibility of its actions. "P&G's gargantuan scale makes them a hugely influential organisation", reads its website. According to the charity, P&G deserve particular criticism as 'with power comes responsibility'.