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US Make-Up Companies Testing on Animals in China

U.S. cosmetic companies, once cruelty free, are testing on animals in China in order to sell products there - unbeknownst to many U.S. consumers. Credit: PETA
U.S. cosmetic companies, once cruelty free, are testing on animals in China in order to sell products there - unbeknownst to many U.S. consumers.
Credit: PETA
April 23, 2015

BOSTON – It's World Week for Animals in Laboratories – a time to remember the millions of animals in Massachusetts and around the world that are experimented on for a variety of reasons.

Monkeys, mice and rabbits are a few of the animals used for testing medical, chemical, cosmetic and household products.

Kathy Guillermo, senior vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), says many people are surprised to find out that some major U.S. cosmetic companies still are testing on animals despite stopping several years ago. That information was leaked to PETA a few years ago.

"Mary Kay, Avon and Estee Lauder were reportedly selling their products in China and that tests on animals were mandated,” she relates. “So we were stunned to find out that in order to sell their products in China they were required to allow them to be tested on animals and in fact pay for that testing."

Guillermo says this suprises many consumers because, in years past, many of the companies were marketed as being cruelty free, and Estee Lauder has acquired many brands such as Clinique, MAC, Aveda, Origins and Bobby Brown.

Visit Peta.org for a complete list of companies that do and do not test on animals.

Guillermo says the Chinese government mandates tests, so all companies that sell in China must have products tested in Chinese government-owned labs.

"And we're talking the very old fashioned skin and eye tests that were done and developed back in the '20s, '30s and '40s, and were done then through the '70s and '80s. (in the U.S.)," she states.

Guillermo stresses the tests are completely unnecessary since many alternatives have been developed.

Animal testing for cosmetics has been banned in India, Israel and the European Union, but still is legal in the U.S.

A statement on Estee Lauder's website reads: "We do not test our products or ingredients on animals, or ask others to test on our behalf, except where required by law."


Monique Coppola, Public News Service - MA