The petition has been driven by The Body Shop, and comes as the result of the beauty brand’s 'Forever Against Animal Testing' global campaign.
The campaign’s petition gained what organisers suggests is a record-breaking 8.3 million signatures against animal testing for cosmetics, and has been presented to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
It aims, say the petition’s organisers, to create a global framework to end animal testing while advancing the United Nations’ sustainable development agenda.
While many countries now have bans or partial bans in place - indeed, the EU has prohibited all animal testing for cosmetics since 2013 - the petition’s organisers (The Body Shop and Cruelty Free International) suggests 80% of countries do not have bans in place.
Global harmonisation key
Harmonising safety testing requirements globally is a crucial next step to end animal testing for cosmetics in a meaningful way, suggests Cruelty Free International.
“It would allow companies to avoid unnecessary bureaucracy and test duplication when accessing international markets to fill the consumer demand for safe and humane cosmetics,” the animal rights group says.
“Not only would a global framework give confidence to companies that they are producing safe and effective cosmetics while meeting consumer demand for truly cruelty-free products.”
Bans still emerging
The petition comes as more markets are indeed adopting or considering animal testing bans for cosmetics.
Against this backdrop, it’s ever more pressing for the industry to innovate with testing alternatives. One recent update in this area is the new partnership between BASF and Givaudan.
Sustainable Development Goals
The petition was organised as a collaboration between The Body Shop, the first international beauty brand to campaign against animal testing in cosmetics, and its long-time campaign partner Cruelty Free International, the first global, non-profit organisation dedicated to ending cosmetic product and ingredient testing on animals.
The two groups say the move towards a global testing ban on animals for cosmetics would contribute towards meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The SDGs are everybody’s business and we look forward to working with The Body Shop to build and share industry knowledge and insights on how to harness consumers and drive collective action in support of more responsible production and consumption patterns,” said Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, a voluntary initiative based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability principles.