In an exclusive interview with CosmeticsDesign-Asia.com, Cruelty Free International chief executive Michelle Thew says she empathizes with cosmetics companies that have to deal with the dilemma of entering a market where animal testing is required such as China.
“China is a difficult one… We empathize with companies dealing with the dilemma of whether to go into a prosperous and lucrative market,” she explains.
“But we still need to work towards a cruelty-free cosmetics industry, and that is where the regulators come in.”
Call on regulators
Thew says that it is not the cosmetics companies that need to change necessarily, it is the regulators, and that is why Cruelty Free International campaign to drum up support from manufacturers in order to raise awareness, and highlight the issue to the relevant bodies.
“In many markets, animal testing is still an option and is not outlawed. We just don’t feel the need to have this option – it should be taken away,” she continues.
Thew explains that with the development in alternatives now producing more accurate results in many cases, as well as the ethical reasons, animal testing should be phased out.
“Maybe it has taken longer, as traditionally cosmetics were tested on animals so it is viewed as the norm by some regulators,” says the BUAV and CFI boss.
Setting the example
Thew, CFI, and other animal rights organisations have seen their work pay off in Europe, where the EU ban comes into place on March 11, 2013; confirmed by new health commissioner Tonio Borg.
“Having the EU ban is a great foundation and can hopefully help to spread the campaign into other markets,” adds Thew.
The EU ban has caught the eye of other markets, such as in India, where they have looked to follow the European example and look into a blanket ban on testing cosmetics on animals; a move that Thew states is ‘promising.’