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Vegan cosmetics range joins in fight against animal-testing

By Louise Prance , 16-Mar-2007

One of the first 100 per cent vegan cosmetic ranges has been launched in Europe and the US, capitlising on the ever-increasing consumer desire for products that are eco-friendly and that join the on-going fight against animal testing in cosmetics.

The range, Gourmet Body Treats, consists of natural ingredients, purchased from local growers, and is made with no artificial dyes, preservatives or fillers - whilst also using recyclable packaging. "The goal of this approach to cosmetics manufacturing is to give consumers a guilt free, green, healthy alternative to most store bought cosmetics" a spokesperson said. The company actively promotes the use of natural ingredients that are tested on human volunteers instead of on the more un-willing participants, animals. In line with this, the range also steers clear of using any animal body part or by-products in any of its products. With consumers growing increasingly environmentally aware, there has been an influx of cosmetic products pandering to the 'organic and natural' cosmetics trend. However, many manufacturers are still using animals as a means of testing the efficacy and dermatological safety aspects of the cosmetic formulations, despite the natural ingredients in the products. This has prompted Gourmet Body Treats to produce the completely vegan cosmetics range, in order to cater for the niche consumer who desires a product that is both natural and ethical in origin. Prices for the cosmetics line range from $4.50 to $21.00 and all products are certified by the leaping bunny non-profit organisation that certifies all products are not tested on animals. The family run company sells a complete cosmetics beauty line, including colour cosmetics, body scrubs and moisturisers and hand and foot cares, aimed at the mass market. An increased need for animal testing following the revised Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of chemicals (REACH) proposals regulating the use of chemicals throughout the bloc has caused many environmentalists to object to the costly process. EU governments and legislators agreed late last year on proposals regulating the use of chemicals throughout the bloc, moving the legislation a giant step forward toward implementation. The agreement on the proposed REACH law ends years of dispute between concerns about balancing health and environmental issues with industry's fears that the legislation would stifle business through excessive red tape. Industry and environmentalists have since argued fiercely over many misgivings regarding the new proposals, in particular the increase in animal testing required.

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