Avon Animal Testing
Does Avon Inc. test on Animals? The short answer is…no…and yes.
The news was broken after animal rights organization PETA removed the companies from their cruelty-free list after discovering that they had returned to using testing on animals for their products in certain countries. The three companies began the tests again in order to satisfy regulations from the Chinese government so they could sell their products in China.
While it’s true that PETA includes Avon on its “companies that do test on animals” list, that categorization is not completely accurate. There are two companies that do business selling Avon Products.
New Avon is the company for North America, covering Canada, US and Puerto Rico. New Avon has not tested on animals since 1989 and still does not.
Avon Inc is the company for Euro and Asia. They also do not use animal testing for the majority of their products, but they do make exceptions in countries where local laws mandate additional safety testing on animals be performed:
In June 1989 Avon Inc, announced a permanent end to animal testing of our products. Avon was the first major cosmetic company in the world to end animal testing. For more than 25 years Avon Inc. has substantiated the safety of its products without animal testing.
Avon Inc. does not conduct nor request animal testing in order to substantiate the safety or efficacy of any of its products or raw ingredients. Our approach to safety evaluation utilizes extrapolations from existing data as well as from computational modeling, in vitro (test tube/cell culture) testing and clinical tests on human volunteers. In some countries, some products may be required by law to undergo additional safety testing, and this may include animal tests. In these instances, Avon Inc. has attempted to persuade the requesting authority to accept non-animal test data.
What does “except where required by law” mean?
Some scientific or regulatory authorities may still conduct or require animal testing by law of cosmetic products or ingredients to demonstrate safety. For example, before we are able to import any of our products into China, the Chinese government requires all importers of cosmetics, including us, to pay for animal testing that is conducted by a government-mandated laboratory in China. Since 2016, some of these laws have changed through the constant education that Avon Inc. and other companies provide to these countries to find alternatives to testing.
I am opposed to animal testing. Can I still use Avon products with confidence?
You can be confident that both Avon companies share your commitment. Opposition to animal testing and respect for animal welfare has been a cornerstone of Avon’s product safety program since 1989 when Avon became the first major cosmetic company to end animal testing. We do not test on animals today. Instead, we use non-animal product safety testing methods. Unfortunately, a few countries require additional safety testing, which may include animal testing. Avon, in partnership with other organizations, works to help advance government acceptance of alternative non-animal testing methods. But if a compromise cannot be reached, we must comply with the testing required by local law. Animal testing is an issue faced by all global beauty companies. Our shared goal is to permanently end all requirements for animal testing wherever they exist, around the world.
Can’t you choose not to sell your products in these countries?
Over our 130 year history Avon has served as an agent of positive change for critical issues, including women’s empowerment, human rights, environmental sustainability, diversity, animal welfare and much more. When faced with challenging situations around the world, our commitment is to remain in the countries affected and work to bring about change, such as the acceptance of non-animal testing methods. Abandoning a market does not help bring about a solution.
As an individual corporation doing business responsibly around the world, Avon does not believe it is in a position to call out specific countries and governments. However, in some countries where we do business additional safety testing is sometimes required by law. We are encouraged to see that China recently eliminated the animal testing requirement for certain products. However the country still requires testing on “special use” products (sunscreens, anti-pigmentation/whitening product, deodorant, fitness/slimming products, breast beautifying products, depilatories, hair growth products, hair perm and hair dyes).
It should also be noted that the laws requiring animal testing in countries such as Brazil and China have changed since PETA decided to boot Avon from its “companies that do not test on animals” list. For instance, in January 2014 Governor Geraldo Alckmin signed a bill that prohibited cosmetics testing on animals in Sao Paulo, Brazil. China has also decided to lift the animal testing requirement on ordinary cosmetics produced and sold in that country.
It is not wholly accurate to say, however, that these companies have “resumed animal testing.”
So again, New Avon, the company that does business in North America does not and has not tested on animals since 1989. No products made or sold in the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico have been tested on animals.