How do you define truly animal-free testing?
Testing of cosmetics and their ingredients on animals has been banned for many years, yet in vitro testing still makes widespread use of animal products and derivatives. Some of these components are harvested ‘humanely’ or are the by-products of the meat industry. However, some, such as foetal bovine serum, are obtained only via inhumane practices. As well as being detrimental to animals, these additives can reduce the reproducibility of tests. Here we provide some guidance on how to define truly animal-free in vitro testing, and describe some of the principles that we follow. We also introduce our scale for animal-free testing, which shows how ‘animal-free’ methods are. The scale will help stakeholders communicate how ‘ethical’ their testing is and can be.
IS IT TRUE THAT COSMETIC PRODUCTS SOLD IN THE EU ARE NOW TESTED WITHOUT CRUELTY TO ANIMALS?
There has been huge change over the last three decades in the testing of cosmetics and personal care products, driven by consumer lobbying across the EU and by regulators. 1993 saw the introduction of a ban on the testing of cosmetic products on animals with the 6th Amendment to the EU Cosmetics Directive. After several delays in implementation of this ban, the 7th Amendment was passed in 2003, stipulating a phased-in ban on animal testing for cosmetic products and their ingredients sold in the EU. This ban became fully operational in 2013 – 20 years after public opinion had successfully driven the legislation for the original ban.
Consumers are increasingly holding cosmetic brands to account; they don’t want products to be tested on animals, but they do still expect them to be safe for them and their families to use. Recent data shows that one-fifth of consumers are looking for ‘not tested on animals, cruelty-free, and/or 100% vegan’ when choosing colour cosmetics or skin care products (1).
So, can we now say with ...