The consumer goods company Unilever has announced that they will be backing the Humane Society International (HSI) in their global campaign to ban animal testing.
Unilever, consumer giants and second largest beauty company in the world owning brands such as Dove, TRESemme, Dermilogica and Lynx/Axe, are not renowned for having admirable ethics when it comes to their stance on animal testing – they sell their products in China, which by law means they have to test their products on animals.
Therefore, the news that they will be collaborating with HSI and partners in a bid to support a new legislation around the world to prohibit both domestic animal testing for cosmetics as well as the sale of cosmetics that have undergone any form of new animal testing, is surely surprising but welcome news.
Troy Seidle, the Humane Society International’s Vice President for Research & Toxicology stated that “Every company will tell you it supports alternatives to animal testing for cosmetics, but Unilever is the first of the beauty giants to throw its weight behind banning it altogether. With hundreds of thousands of animals still used in toxicity tests for cosmetic purposes each year around the world, Unilever is to be commended for standing with Humane Society International to end this cruelty once and for all. We urge other large beauty brands to follow this example and join us on the right side of history.”
The collaboration will also include the introduce a multi-year, open partnership to develop awareness and knowledge across companies and regulatory authorities, so decisions made on cosmetics testing are based purely on non-animal approaches as well as investment in training future scientists in safe non-animal risk assessments to build expert knowledge for the long-term.
David Blanchard, the Chief Research and Development Officer at Unilever has spoken saying “We are delighted to collaborate with Humane Society International to bring the era of cosmetic animal testing to an end, and would welcome other companies, regulators, and other interested stakeholders that want to join this important initiative.”
So far 37 countries so far across the world have agreed to take part in the new legislation that is aimed at banning animal testing for cosmetics across the globe within five years.