Breaking! World’s 2nd Largest Beauty Brand, Unilever, Announces Unprecedented Move To Help Support Global Ban On Animal Testing For Cosmetics

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Prominent beauty brand, Unilever, announced its support today for a global ban on animal testing for cosmetics as part of an ambitious new collaboration with the Humane Society International (HSI).

Known for such popular brands as Dove, Degree, and TRESemmé, Unilever is the second largest beauty company globally and the first among the sector’s “top 10” to actively support legislative reform to prohibit animal testing for cosmetics. The organizations hope that this new collaboration will accelerate policy change in the cosmetics sector globally toward a shared goal of animal testing bans in 50 major beauty markets worldwide by 2023.

The unprecedented move is being hailed as the “beginning of the end for cruel cosmetics.”

“Animal testing for cosmetics has been banned in the EU since 2013, and we hope that an adoption of similar bans in other countries will accelerate the regulatory acceptance of alternative approaches and thereby remove any requirements for any animal testing for cosmetics anywhere in the world,” David Blanchard, Chief Research and Development Officer at Unilever, explained in a statement.

Unilever announced its support for Humane Society International’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign which is aimed at banning animal testing for cosmetics across the globe within five years. Unilever’s support includes an ambitious new collaboration aimed at accelerating regulatory acceptance of modern, non-animal approaches to consumer safety assessment.

“Every company will tell you it supports alternatives to animal testing for cosmetics, but Unilever is the first of the beauty giants to throw its weight behind banning it altogether,” HSI Vice President for Research and Toxicology Troy Seidle said in a statement. “With hundreds of thousands of animals still used in toxicity tests for cosmetic purposes each year around the world, Unilever is to be commended for standing with Humane Society International to end this cruelty once and for all. We urge other large beauty brands to follow this example and join us on the right side of history.”

As a further demonstration of its commitment, Unilever also announced today that Dove, its largest Beauty and Personal Care brand, has gained accreditation by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Dove’s cruelty-free status has been granted in recognition of the brand’s commitment to not conduct any tests on animals anywhere in the world. PETA’s cruelty-free logo will begin to appear on Dove packaging from January 2019 to assure customers that Dove does not, and will not, test on animals.

PETA will also now list Unilever as a ‘company working for regulatory change’, which indicates that Unilever conducts no tests on animals unless specifically required by law for any of its brands or products.

Across the globe, lawmakers in 37 countries so far have already enacted legislation to fully or partially ban animal testing for cosmetics. HSI played a key role in securing enactment of the final phase of the EU ban in 2013, and in subsequent victories in India, Taiwan, New Zealand, South Korea, Guatemala, and seven states in Brazil. Today HSI and its partners are driving forward 10 more legislative efforts in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and the United States.

Animal tests carried out in the cosmetics sector include eye and skin irritation experiments, in which a cosmetic product or ingredient is rubbed onto the shaved skin or dripped into the eyes of rabbits; skin allergy tests using guinea pigs or mice; and force-feeding studies that last weeks or months. These tests inflict considerable pain and distress, which can include blindness, swollen eyes, sore bleeding skin, internal bleeding, organ damage, convulsions and death. Pain relief is seldom if ever provided, and at the end of a test the animals are killed, normally by asphyxiation, neck-breaking or decapitation.

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