Naturewatch hammers on Body Shop's door over animal testing

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Body shop, Cosmetics

Following its buy-out by L'Oreal, the Body Shop has come under some
heavy criticism in recent months. Now the company that built its
name on the back of a strict no animal testing policy is being
slammed by animal rights group Naturewatch because L'Oreal still
carries out testing on animals.

Naturewatch is planning to demonstrate outside the Body Shop's Littlehampton, UK, headquarters today in an effort to draw attention to the newly formed business association the company has with L'Oreal and the fact that the French cosmetics maker still carries out testing of cosmetic ingredients on animals.

The group says it will continue to stage protests until L'Oreal has completely phased out the testing of all cosmetic ingredients on laboratory animals.

Many supporters of the Body Shop expressed their dismay over L'Oreal's purchase of the company, claiming that it compromised the UK company's hard earned reputation as an ethical business that was vehemently opposed to the testing of all cosmetic products and ingredients on animals.

Naturewatch is backing its campaign with its Lil Lapin rabbit mascot, which the organisation says will be used to front its campaign highlighting the current situation at the two companies.

The campaign also includes an effort to distribute campaign flyers by supporters and group members as well as encouraging people to write in to the Body Shop to express their disappointment at the deal and to send back Body Shop loyalty cards.

Indeed Naturewatch claims it has received letters and emails from consumers and employees who have previously supported the Body Shop and who were dismayed by its sale to L'Oreal.

Although L'Oreal says it has not been directly involved in animal testing since 1989, certain ingredients have been tested for what the company terms 'safety reasons'.

The protests from Naturewatch come as the cosmetics giant continues it search to find new alternatives to the animal testing of cosmetics ingredients.

Indeed all cosmetics companies in Europe are currently racing to comply with EU regulations that aim to completely outlaw the testing of all cosmetic ingredients on animals by the year 2009.

This falls in line with earlier legislation that has already banned the testing of all finished cosmetic and toiletry products on animals in Europe, legislation that was introduced as of 2004.

Related topics: Formulation & Science

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