Avon Products, Inc. was the first major cosmetics company to stop animal testing some thirty years ago. So it comes as something of a surprise to discover that PETA included the company on its list of corporations that did in fact test on animals. Why the seeming anomaly? It was simply down to the fact that Avon sells its beauty products in China which legally requires animal testing on products it designates as “special use” like sunscreens and deodorants. It also stipulates this requirement for ordinary cosmetics imported into China.
This has now changed with some innovative thinking on the part of Avon, leading to PETA’s announcement that the company has officially been added to PETA’s “Working for Regulatory Change” list.
PETA has confirmed that the company has co-operated for nearly two years to end tests on animals and demonstrated “significant contributions to global efforts to stop tests on animals”.
Avon Products is now officially therefore no longer testing on animals anywhere in the world and is “putting systems in place to ensure that none of its suppliers test on animals, either. When that process is complete, the company will be moved to our cruelty-free list” said PETA.
Avon changing distribution channels where necessary in relation to China
The company stated that it would “focus on working with suppliers on their animal testing policies for ingredients used in Avon’s products. Meanwhile, Avon will continue to work with its partners to push for regulatory change and greater acceptance of alternatives to animal testing.”
Jonathan Myers, Avon’s Chief Operating Officer said: “We do not believe that animal testing is necessary to substantiate product safety and do no test products on animals anywhere in the world. We will continue to push for greater acceptance of alternatives.”
Myers further commented that “PETA’s recognition acknowledges our long-standing, active involvement in developing and promoting non-animal test methods but also reflects an understanding of Avon’s deep commitment and willingness to drive change developed over months of discussions”.
Avon’s website quotes Myers as saying:
“Our goal is to deliver products to meet our customers’ needs without compromising our commitment to animal welfare, our high product safety standards or our adherence to regulatory requirements. By investing in how we develop innovation for China and in some cases changing distribution channels, we have been able to deliver this landmark change. Globally, none of Avon’s products will be tested on animals”.
Avon will now manufacture its products in the UK, before filling them in the Fengxian manufacturing zone prior to onward marketing in Shanghai.
Avon has, in other words, stopped all regulatory-required tests on animals in China. It has taken an enormous step to become entirely cruelty-free.
PETA works tirelessly to end animal testing. It recently released an animated video of Sir Paul McCartney playing his anti-vivisection anthem Looking for Changes.