March 11 kicked off what has been an animal testing frenzy this week, as the EU sales ban came into play, and a series of public opinion surveys commissioned by Humane Society International reveal that the vast majority of people worldwide are united in wanting cosmetics companies to stop testing on animals.
“This is a wake-up call to companies still testing on animals in the United States, Canada, South Korea, Brazil and beyond, that they need to listen to consumers and take the leap to cruelty-free,” says Troy Seidle, HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free Campaign Director .
“Consumers are clearly concerned about animal welfare but our poll also reveals that they often have greater confidence in a product’s safety if it has been tested using modern methods rather than outdated animal tests.”
Support national ban
Humane Society International’s Be Cruelty-Free campaign commissioned the opinion polls, with the Humane Society of the United States helping in North America, and KARA (South Korea) and LUSH (Japan), co-commissioning the polls in those particular regions.
In Canada, the poll found that eight in ten people supported a national cosmetics animal testing ban, while seven out of ten supported that in South Korea. Sixty six per cent of Brazilians and 62 per cent of Americans followed suit, while half of the Japanese respondents supported a national ban.
In some of the countries polled, such as Japan and Brazil, the issue of animal testing for cosmetics is relatively new, yet HSI believes its campaign is already having a considerable impact and that public support will be critical.
“Brazil is the world’s fastest-growing market for cosmetics,” said Seidle. “Currently, Brazilian guidelines still contain a tick-box list of animal toxicity tests for the safety assessment of new cosmetic products and ingredients.”
The positives in Brazil are that the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnológico is investing R$1.1 million in RENAMA to make internationally approved alternatives available to Brazilian companies.
Two out of three Brazilians also agreed that “cosmetic companies that say they are committed to sustainability, protection of the environment and use of natural or organic ingredients should also ensure that they do not test their products on animals.”
EU ban influence
In Canada and South Korea more consumers sided with the ban having heard of the implementation in Europe this week.
Japan had the lowest percentage of consumers supporting the ban, and the majority of consumers also said they didn’t want manufacturers to use ingredients in cosmetics whose safety cannot be determined unless they are tested on animals.
The majority (85.7 per cent) added that they thought the development of alternative methods that do not use animals is important, with 78 per cent saying the “development of new ingredients for cosmetics can wait until alternative methods are developed.”