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The Truth About “Cruelty-Free” Cosmetics

While Europe has recently banned animal testing for the manufacturing of human vanity – with Israel now following suite – the U.S. and Asia, both large cosmetic markets, continue to subject animals to testing.

Law does not require companies to test products on animals, and in vitro alternatives do exist.

Yet, 80 percent of the world’s cosmetics are still tested on animals, and 89 percent of cosmetic ingredients have undetectable origins.

Because of this, most compassion-conscious citizens choose products labelled “Cruelty-Free” and “Not Tested on Animals”, as they appear be ethical stamps of approval. However, they can be misleading.

Many products claiming to be animal friendly may continue to use ingredients that have been tested on animals, or operate international branches that adhere unethical standards. This proves frustrating to those who wish to make informed, ethical decisions before they choose to support a product.

To help remedy this, the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics, or CCIC, has created the “Leaping Bunny” logo.

This logo is part of the Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals program, the only cruelty-free program to receive international recognition, which confirms to buyers that a company and its finished products were made without the use of animal testing.

For a company to qualify for compliance with the CCIC, neither finished products nor ingredients may use animal testing; taking into account not only the activities of the company but its laboratories and suppliers as well. Additionally, the company cannot commission a third party to test on animals.

The program goes beyond cosmetics, and is also inclusive to companies manufacturing personal hygiene products and other household items, such as cleaning agents.

Benefits of compliance include exposure to ethically-minded customers and inclusion in marketing campaigns. There is currently no fee for applying or being granted certification by the program, although companies are required to pay a one-time fee if they wish to license the logo.

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