Call me cynical, but I have always been suspicious about the “X is against animal testing” statement sometimes found on the back of some ‘cruelty-free’ cosmetic products.
Maybe it’s just me, but it just seems so … well weak.
Just because you’re ‘against’ something doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. My husband is ‘against’ unnecessary (in his opinion only) shoe shopping – doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen though! Do you get my point?
The statement leaves a window of ambiguity that I think ultimately also provides a ‘cop out’ for the manufacturers if production/sales decisions mean they then have ingredients and/or products that were tested on animals. To my mind the manufacturer has only stated their intent – not their position. And hence provides no assurance to me as a customer wanting to have confidence that the products I’m buying are truly cruelty free.
Palmer’s Australia – best known for its cocoa butter range – is one of the brands that I first noticed included ‘Against Animal Testing’ on the back of its facial washes. I became even more suspicious when I found ‘This product is not tested on animals’ on one of the hair treatment products, which I believe is a much stronger and more credible message.
I was left wondering if – although Palmer’s are ‘against animal testing’ – only some of their products are in fact truly cruelty free?
I sent an email to their customer service team and received the following reply:
“Thanks for your enquiry.
1. Palmers is against animal testing. This means:
- We do not test on animals.
- We do not get other people to test on animals for us.
- We source our ingredients from suppliers who state that they do not test the ingredients on animals.
- As well as this we are careful to source our raw materials from regions that do not threaten wildlife habitat.
2. There is no single classification of “cosmetics” in China. Different product categories define different registration requirements and taxation rates. For example products used on specific areas of the face or body, or those claiming specific effects, require very different registration processes from so-called “ordinary” products. Our products registered in China are all body lotions and all classified as “ordinary products” for registration purposes. We have no facial cosmetic products registered in China. The rules and processes regarding importation of products into China can change significantly and without notice. The rules of Chinese authorities are not open and public as they are in other countries. We have sought official confirmation from the Chinese authorities that they have not tested our products on animals.
3. We are not listed by international animal rights groups as a company whose products are tested on animals.
4. Our products are recommended on the PETA website. http://www.peta.org/living/beauty-and-personal-care/shop-beauty-on-a-budget-and-in-a-breeze-anywhere.aspx
Points 1, 3 and 4 are obviously great. Point 2, however, leaves me with a few more questions than answers however.
Firstly, kudos to Palmer’s. They’re obviously trying to do the right thing by only distributing body products in China and not cosmetic (facial) products which are subject to animal testing. However their email only says they have ‘sought’ official confirmation from the Chinese authorities that their products have not been tested on animals – its doesn’t provide indication as to whether or not that confirmation has been received, and it also does not say what they will do if this is in fact the case.
I feel a little like Palmer’s are closing their eyes and holding their breath (in fairness they don’t appear to want to be involved in animal testing) and hoping all is going to be OK, but for right now are reaping the benefits of the distribution in China, i.e. dollars – and lots of them.
For me right now – until I hear more – I’ve take Palmer’s off of my shopping list – and haven’t included it in my ‘brands that are cruelty free‘ list.