The Truth About Animal Testing – An Update REVIEW

So last week I wrote up a post about animal testing and how to determine who is cruelty-free and who isn’t but there were still a fair few questions relating to the grey areas of companies approved by The BUAV who are owned by a parent company who aren’t.Here is my review of The Truth About Animal Testing – An Update !
For example, The body Shop and Liz earle who are owned by L’Oreal and Avon respectively
So I emailed The BUAV and tweeted Liz Earle the following morning and got some very prompt and very honest responses, which is always nice as it makes me feel more confident in a company or brand and reminds not all of them are careless money grabbers
First off here’s my email to The BUAV:

—– Original Message —–
From: Samantha Raybould [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Saturday, March 24, 2012 11:28 PM
To: Fleur Dawes
Subject: animal testing – grey ares

Hi Fleur
How are you?

I have a few questions that I was hoping you could clarify for me regarding animals testing?

Firstly why is it that the body shop are buav approved when they are owned by L’Oreal? I find it very hard to believe that l’oreal aren’t profiting from the body shop

What is the buav’s stance on Superdrug being BUAV approved yet donating money to cancer research who DO test on animals?

I have read that Liz Earle are joining forces with Avon will they lose their leaping bunny seal of aproval since Avon are potentially being sued for basically lying about animal testing?

Sorry these are awkward questions but I have to ask them when I’m so ‘pro the buav’ and people are finding more and more things to fault in general all the time about ‘trusting’ companies and organisations 100|%

Hope you are well

And this is the response I got from Sarah Kite:
Dear Samantha,

Thank you for your Email which Fleur has forwarded to me. She is currently on annual leave. Please find below our response to your concerns. I hope this will help to clarify our position for you. If not, please feel free to send any follow up questions.

Best wishes
Sarah Kite
Director of Communications & Special Projects

The HCS is the only globally recognised certification for cosmetics and toiletries which demonstrates a genuine commitment to no animal testing within a company’s own-brand products. It is run in conjunction with a coalition of animal protection groups in Europe and North America operating in 24 countries.

In order to become certified, companies have to meet rigorous criteria and commit to the following:

• Apply a fixed cut-off date after which they no longer conduct or commission animal tests

• Not purchase cosmetics ingredients or raw materials that have been animal tested after the same fixed cut-off date

• Verify the strict implementation of their fixed cut-off date with supplier assurances

• Submit to independent auditing

Other cruelty-free lists do not have the same strict requirements as the HCS, often relying on unverified company statements alone. Only HCS certified companies have been required to adopt a cut-off date, open their supply chain to monitoring, and submit to external audit requirements.

The Body Shop implemented a fixed cut-off date in 1990, and as long as they retain accreditation through the HCS the BUAV can certify no animals will be harmed for their products or ingredients. The Body Shop operates as an independent entity with their values and animal testing policy intact. They have informed us that they only fund product development for their own products and do not fund any development that might require animal testing. However we understand that for some of our supporters this will not be enough, which is why we provide information about parent companies so you can make your own choice.

As the leading organisation working with cosmetics companies worldwide, the BUAV recognise the multinational nature of the cosmetic industry and the need for values-driven companies to expand and gain access to global markets. It is, therefore, inevitable that small, innovative companies will continue to be targets for partnership with larger corporations. Many ethical brands are part of larger corporations, and some certified companies, such as Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Superdrug and The Co-operative, sell a wide range of products including non-certified brands.

Our approach is transparent. We clearly mark on our website and in our Little Book of Cruelty Free which brands have a parent company that is not certified by the HCS so that supporters can make up their own minds. However, compassionate consumers send a strong message to major corporations when they choose to buy cruelty free products alone. We want to encourage consumers to shop with compassion on the high street and make cruelty free a mainstream issue. The only way to do this is to ensure large corporations hear our message.
Basically what this means is that if a product range meet the strict regulations set out by the HCS then they will remain BUAV approved and will carry the leaping bunny seal of approval, regardless of who their parent company is provided that parent company doesn’t profit or use profits towards animal testing
I think this information has made it much easier for me to buy from people like The Body Shop and Liz Earle, whom although I did trust because I trust The BUAV, I couldn’t help but question each purchase I made from them
Another area I want to clarify is that Liz Earle were bought by Avon back in 2010, and whilst many of their loyal customers were not happy (some were actually quite outraged by the decision for obvious reasons!) it doesn’t appear to have affected their reputation, and I think this has largely been due to the fact that they still operate as a separate company
When tweeting Liz Earle this is the response I got:
The Truth About Animal Testing - An Update
Once again, this has instilled me with confidence in the Liz Earle brand and let’s face it companies will continue to be acquired by other companies, or merge with other companies who don’t hold the same values and principles but as long as that doesn’t affect the companies who are proud to be listed as cruelty-free with The BUAV then I’m all for continuing my support of them. I will not however, support companies who only carry PETA’s cruelty-free bunny logo when they are owned by larger corporations who openly admit to animal testing
I hope this clarifies the matter for you as it does me,  and I hope it makes it easier to go ‘cruelty-free’ when you shop for cosmetics and products for the home. Just please remember if it isn’t BUAV approved or carry this logo, then it aint cruelty-free. Simple. As. That!
The Truth About Animal Testing


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