In the 1990's beauty companies stepped forward and spoke out against animal testing. And most companies opted to disassociate themselves from it. And in n March 2013, a new European Union (EU) law was fully implemented that made it illegal to sell animal-tested cosmetics in Europe.
But of course in other parts of the world all kind of things happen and recently, with the East opening its doors to Western products, animal testing has re-surfaced. Many companies wishing to enter China have to, by Chinese law, have all their ingredients tested on animals. This means that many large companies chasing profits and margins and, therefore, seeing potential in the Chinese market have quietly turned their back on the stance on animal testing.
What animal tests are carried out to test cosmetics?
They can include:
- skin and eye irritation tests where chemicals are rubbed onto the shaved skin or dripped into the eyes of restrained rabbits without any pain relief
- repeated force-feeding studies lasting weeks or months to look for signs of general illness or specific health hazards such as cancer or birth defects; and
- widely condemned "lethal dose" tests, in which animals are forced to swallow large amounts of a test chemical to determine the dose that causes death.
At the end of a test the animals are killed. Pain relief is not provided. In the United States, a large percentage of the animals used in such testing (such as laboratory-bred rats and mice) are not counted in official statistics and receive no protection under the Animal Welfare Act.
Thankfully there are companies fighting all these laws and looking to enter the Asian markets without the need to have animals wrongly and cruelly exposed to their products and ingredients. But at the moment, the law still stands.
The ekoko-handmade team could not sleep at night if we thought our ingredients and products were to be tested on innocent animals. We appreciate the importance of making profits and margins so a business can pay its overheads and bills. But we will not go chasing profits where we feel they are obtained unethically.
So now, with Easter just before us, we should have HAPPY EASTER BUNNIES!, right?