Unilever's PETA-approved brands, including TRESemmé, Simple, and St.Ives, are joining the fight to save cruelty-free cosmetics.
Last week, Dove joined forces with The Body Shop, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Cruelty Free Europe, Humane Society International/Europe, Eurogroup for Animals, and the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments to launch a European Citizens’ Initiative, calling on the European Commission to protect its longstanding ban on animal testing for cosmetics.
Now, 27 other PETA-approved Unilever brands have pledged support to the campaign and will use their collective power to call on consumers to sign the European Citizens’ Initiative.
After decades of campaigning by consumers, and a series of bans dating back to 2004, the EU prohibited the sale of cosmetics that had been tested on animals in 2013.
This regulation became the gold standard for similar bans around the world. However, Europe’s longstanding ban on animal testing for cosmetics is now under threat.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is calling for new animal testing on ingredients that have been safely used by consumers and handled safely in factories for many years, even those solely used for cosmetics.
For more than 40 years, Unilever scientists have been pioneering non-animal approaches to assess product safety including computer modelling and cell culture-based experiments.
Unilever partners with more than 70 leading science teams globally to accelerate regulatory acceptance and use of alternatives to animal testing, and collaborates with peers, NGOs, and governments to share knowledge around the matter.
As a result, Unilever has become one of the five companies listed by PETA as a ‘company working for regulatory change’, and has a growing list of PETA-approved brands.
Julia Fentem, head of Unilever’s safety and environmental assurance centre, said, "There is no reason to test cosmetics products, or the ingredients used in them, on animals.
"The European Chemicals Agency’s proposals pose a significant threat to the progress our industry has made towards ending animal testing for assuring the safety of cosmetics and other consumer products."
"If these proposals go ahead, hundreds of thousands of animals could be subjected to unnecessary tests, when innovative non-animal approaches based on leading-edge science and technology offer reliable alternatives to animal testing. We say use science, not animals," added Fentem.
This change has the potential to affect all cruelty-free brands across the industry, including the no animal testing and vegan products that are desired and recognised by consumers.
Three-quarters of adults in EU member states believe that animal testing for cosmetic products and their ingredients is unacceptable in all circumstances.
European Citizens’ Initiative
To give European citizens the chance to make their voices heard, Unilever’s PETA-approved brands are calling on consumers to take action.
The aim of the companies, brands, and animal protection organisations supporting this campaign is to get to the required one million signatures in the shortest timespan possible.
The European Citizens’ Initiative has called on the European Commission to safeguard the ban on animal testing for cosmetics and commit to establishing a roadmap to phase out animal testing in the EU.