Breaking news: Unilever, maker of Dove and Degree products, supports global ban on animal testing for cosmetics

By on October 9, 2018 with 18 Comments

In a pathbreaking announcement that signals a certain end to the cruel practice of testing cosmetics on animals, the industry giant Unilever – maker of such popular brands as Dove, Degree and TRESemmé — today announced it will support a global ban on such testing, in collaboration with Humane Society International, the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Unilever is one of the world’s most recognized companies and a global market leader, with more than 400 brands on store shelves in 190 countries and a reach of 2.5 billion customers a day. The company has a stellar record on developing non-animal alternatives to animal testing and has collaborated with more than 50 key partners around the world, including governments, to end cosmetics testing using animals.

“We’re very hopeful that through collaboration – amongst companies, NGOs and governments – it will soon be possible to assess the safety of all cosmetics products without any need for animal testing anywhere in the world,” Unilever’s chief research and development officer David Blanchard said in today’s announcement.

As part of our collaboration, Unilever will support HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree initiative, which leads the global legislative effort to prohibit animal testing for cosmetics as well as the sale of cosmetics that have undergone any form of new animal testing, anywhere in the world, after a ban comes into effect. This approach is consistent with the precedent established in the European Union, where a cosmetics testing ban was imposed in 2013. The HSI-Unilever partnership will also provide much-needed training of government authorities and future scientists in the latest non-animal safety assessment approaches for cosmetics. Our shared goal is to have animal testing bans in place in 50 major beauty markets worldwide by 2023.

Testing cosmetics on animals is not only cruel, but also unnecessary. In traditional tests, rabbits, mice, rats and guinea pigs have substances forced down their throat, dripped into their eyes, or smeared onto their skin, and are left to suffer for days or weeks without pain relief. Fortunately, cosmetic companies can create new and innovative products the cruelty-free way by choosing from thousands of ingredients that have a history of safe use. For new ingredients, animal tests are increasingly being replaced with non-animal methods that are often quicker, cheaper and more reliable as predictors of toxicity in humans.

Across the globe, 37 countries so far have enacted legislation to fully or partially ban animal testing for cosmetics. HSI played a key role in securing enactment of the final phase of the EU ban, and in subsequent victories in India, Taiwan, New Zealand, South Korea, Guatemala and seven states in Brazil. Today HSI and its partners are driving additional efforts in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Recently, the HSUS, HSLF and others worked to make California the first state in the United States to ban the sale of animal-tested cosmetics.

More and more companies are stepping up in the campaign to end cosmetics testing. In the United States, 250 companies in the cosmetics industry are supporting the Humane Cosmetics Act – bipartisan federal legislation that would end the production and sale of animal-tested cosmetics here. Businesses are eager to make the change because they realize that, increasingly, consumers in the United States and elsewhere are demanding products that are cruelty free. We are proud to work with lawmakers and businesses like Unilever to drive this change toward a world where animals do not have to suffer for cosmetics.

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Animal Research and Testing, Humane Society International

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  1. Cynthia Aiken says:

    This doesn’t impress me….Unilever is owned by Monsanto.

  2. Kristen says:

    Does this mean that they are ending their own animal testing now as they work toward a ban?

  3. Jan Young says:

    Testing on animals is archaic and cruel – with other methods of testing available to man there is absolutely no need for this barbaric practice that causes misery and pain to so many beautiful animals.

    • Max says:

      It’s simply wrong to abuse animals. We MUST continue to be their voice, and support those that make change happen. That you Humane Society for all your hard work and diligence. Will continue to donate and sing your praises.

  4. Mike Butts says:

    Has UNILEVER Pledged to NOT TEST ANIMALS ON ALL Their products?

  5. Wendy says:

    I hope they stop testing on their own products. I really miss my Dove soap and would love to be able to use it again without thinking of the harm done to animals to bring me soap.

    • Stacy says:

      Click the link in the article above to Unilever’s own press release and you’ll see this: “As a further demonstration of its commitment, Unilever also announced today that Dove, its largest Beauty & Personal Care brand, has gained accreditation by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Dove’s cruelty-free status has been granted in recognition of the brand’s commitment to not conduct any tests on animals anywhere in the world.” So yay. It looks like you can start using Dove again!

      • Jemm says:

        It also the test on animals where it’s legally required. So instead of pulling out of those markets, they rather make money let their products be tested on animals.

  6. Lynne says:

    Cannot imagine that it has taken manufacturers so long to recognize the cruelty in animal testing. Should have been done decades ago. Do most popular brands still sell in China where animal tests are performed on items coming in from USA?

    • Sam says:

      That is an excellent question and they are pulling out of China, so they are not going to be selling their product in China. There are some gray areas with China where they can sell without it being tested on animals, such as airports. I know there is one more but I can’t think of the other place. This was a concern of mine also.

  7. Max says:

    It’s simply wrong to abuse animals. We MUST continue to be their voice, and support those that make change happen. That you Humane Society for all your hard work and diligence. Will continue to donate and sing your praises.

  8. Stacy says:

    From the Unilever press release link in the article:

    Sophie Galvani, VP Dove Global, explained, “For over 30 years we’ve used non-animal approaches to assess the safety of our products and ingredients. Dove has enacted a policy prohibiting all animal tests, anywhere in the world, and we are delighted to say that our products will now carry PETA’s cruelty-free logo to assure our customers that Dove does not, and will not, test on animals.

    “Gaining PETA’s cruelty-free accreditation is acknowledgement of Dove’s broader commitment not just to care for women’s and men’s skin and hair but also to care for the planet and everyone on it—including animals.”

  9. Jemm says:

    PETA IS NOT THE CRUELTY-FREE STANDARD. They have their own issues. I personally don’t feel PETA is trustworthy. Leaping Bunny certification is a better source.

  10. Ken Dalrymple says:

    I think this company should be Praised for its efforts, and modeled after wherever possible. I have used Dove products for years, as they do Not test on any living thing.
    Unilever, you are AWESOME in your endeavors to become even better citizens of our planet, you are to be commended and Copied. THANK YOU!

  11. Cat says:

    Why don’t we BAN COMPANIES THAT USE ANIMALS FOR TESTING? Thats the way it should be done. Hit them in the pockets & they will end this horror!

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