Animal testing has been the ugly side of the beauty industry in the past few decades. But beauty doesn’t have to be cruel. Most countries do not require safety data for beauty products to be based on animal testing, and reliable alternatives are available. In India, we have a rich tradition of Ayurvedic and nature-based beauty treatments, and India was the first South Asian country ban animal testing in 2013.
Even then, over 80 per cent of countries still have no laws against animal-testing when it comes to cosmetics. There is still a long way to go globally. Cruelty Free International, a non-profit organization working to end animal testing, estimates that approximately 500,000 animals are still used in some countries in cosmetics testing every year.
To take the case right up to the United Nations, beauty major The Body Shop today launched a new campaign for a global ban on cosmetics animal testing on products and ingredients by 2020. Their aim is to revolutionize the global beauty industry and protecting millions of animals around the world. Partnering with Cruelty Free International, The Body Shop will request an international convention banning cosmetics testing on animals.
Beauty companies like The Body Shop, which has 3000 stores in 60 countries, use innovative and effective cruelty-free ingredients in their products. While announcing the new campaign and requesting her fans to sign the petition, Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez, brand ambassador, said, “Real beauty cannot be achieved at the cost of harming anyone especially animals. The concept of animal testing for cosmetic brands should be banned.”
Rules on animal testing in cosmetics are currently patchwork, with legislation differing around the world leaving consumers ill-informed. Traditional animal tests have never been validated for their use in reliably detecting the safety of cosmetic products and ingredients. There are now modern alternatives such as artificially grown human skin, that are, in the majority of cases, as effective as the animal test they replace and have been validated by authorities.
This campaign will finish what The Body Shop both started back in the 1980s. The brand, founded by Anita Roddick in England in the seventies, is calling on at least 8 million people from every corner of the globe who care about animal welfare to join the cause and sign the petition on their website. They plan to take this petition to the United Nations to compel them to create a global law a ban animal testing in cosmetic products and ingredients.