Thursday, 3 February 2011

Email response from the British Union Against Vivisecion

Dear Sarah,

Many thanks for your email.  The BUAV fully understands that concern continues to be expressed over The Body Shop’s stance against animal testing following the take-over of the company by L’Oreal. The Body Shop operates as an independent entity with their values and animal testing policy intact. We recognise, however, that there are many ethical consumers who are concerned about giving their financial support to an overall parent corporation, such as L’Oreal, which has not committed to ending animal testing. 

The Body Shop is currently accredited under the Humane Cosmetics Standard (HCS) in the UK and continues to meet the stringent requirements for the international standard. The company will, therefore, remain certified under the program. In order to attain such status a company has to:

  • Guarantee that no animal testing is used for finished products or ingredients in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories or suppliers; 
  • Obtain assurances from their suppliers and intermediary agents that no animal testing has been conducted on their behalf after a fixed date; 
  • Agree to allow independent verification of this policy and its application through an audit program.

At present, of all those companies approved by the Standard, very few offer a full vegan range and most if not all of these are only available by mail order. By restricting the Standard to vegan-only products we would, unfortunately, be perpetuating the myth that non-animal tested products are an unrealistic choice for the mainstream consumer.  Of course, as an animal protection organization we would prefer that consumers further refine their choice by buying vegan products. It is for this reason that companies that are approved by the Vegetarian Society or Vegan Society are given extra emphasis through product icons in the printed version of our Little Book of Cruelty-Free, enabling the ethical consumer to make their own personal selection.
We don’t restrict our list to those companies producing purely vegan products as we are a single issue organisation. One of the main aims of the Standard is to demonstrate to consumers who might otherwise not choose cruelty free products, that buying cosmetics or household products that have not been animal tested is both a practical and viable option. In order for the Standard to be successful in promoting the wide variety and availability of non-animal tested products, they must honestly reflect the full range available and this will inevitably include some non-vegan products. 

I hope this helps to answer your query.  If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards
Carol Petersen



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