Procter & Gamble, maker of Pantene and Herbal Essences, joins fight to end animal testing for cosmetics

By on February 21, 2019 with 9 Comments

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

Procter & Gamble, maker of popular household brands like Herbal Essences, Pantene and Head & Shoulders, today announced it will join with our #BeCrueltyFree campaign to ban all animal testing for its cosmetics products in major global markets by 2023. This decision by one of America’s – and the world‘s – largest personal products manufacturers is an important victory for animals, and it further strengthens the case for banning animal testing for cosmetics in the United States and worldwide.

Today’s announcement builds upon a long history of cooperation between the multinational corporation and Humane Society International, the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Legislative Fund. For two decades, we have worked together to develop animal-free tests, pass legislation to require alternatives to animal tests and fund government research and development, while also pressing for regulations to end animal testing around the globe.

More than 10 years ago, Procter & Gamble and the HSUS founded, a global resource on advancing alternatives to animal testing for manufacturers, governments and others seeking such options. P&G is also a founding member of the Human Toxicology Project, a coalition committed to replacing the use of animals in chemical testing with faster, better, more humane science based on current understanding of human biology.

Overall, P&G has invested more than $420 million over 40 years in developing non-animal test methods and its researchers have led or co-designed at least 25 cruelty-free methods for testing cosmetic products. Manufacturers are making the investment in this arena because they recognize that consumers continue to demand products free of the cruelty of new animal testing.

In tandem with our campaign to convince the European Union to enact its long-promised ban on the marketing of cosmetics that have been newly tested on animals, HSI launched the #BeCrueltyFree initiative with the goal of extending the EU ban to countries where the practice is still allowed or even required under law. To date 38 countries have enacted legislation to fully or partially ban animal testing for cosmetics, including all countries in the EU, India, Taiwan, New Zealand, South Korea, Guatemala, and just last week, Australia. HSI and its partners played a major role in each of these victories, and we are also driving similar efforts in Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

More than 200 manufacturers worldwide have joined the #BeCrueltyFree initiative, including Lush Cosmetics, H&M and Unilever.

Here in the United States, more than 1,000 personal care brands have committed to no new cosmetics testing on animals. Our HSLF staff has also been working with members of Congress to enact the Humane Cosmetics Act, introduced in the last Congress with bipartisan support and with the endorsement of more than 275 stakeholders in the personal care products industry. We expect it will once again be introduced in this Congress, and having a major manufacturer like Procter & Gamble on board will further strengthen our case.

Last year, the HSUS, HSLF and others worked with lawmakers in California to make the Golden State – the most populated state in the country and the world’s fifth largest economy — the first in the United States to ban the sale of animal-tested cosmetics.

Testing cosmetics on animals is not only cruel, but it is absolutely 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.

Today’s announcement from Procter & Gamble is a key milestone. HSI, the HSUS, and HSLF applaud the company for its smart thinking and compassion, and we are proud for the role we have played in making this change happen.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Animal Research and Testing, Humane Society International, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

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  1. Sandy Smith says:

    This is great news! Does this mean they will also end animal testing on their household cleaning products?

    • linda fabiano says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Their cosmetics are only a fraction of what they use animals for in their testing.

  2. Sally Palmer says:

    Wonderful news! What a lot of great work by so many people. I wonder how long before China gets on board with the rest of the world.

  3. Joan Norris says:

    Yes, but what about the household products, such as laundry detergent?

  4. Sharon says:

    Finally! It was about they start being ethical an humane- let’s hope they apply it to all of their products and in all countries with no exception as China!

  5. Deedee Dillingham says:

    I am really hoping that there will be a HUGE push — promotion, publicity, activism — against using palm oil in any way, shape, or form in cosmetics or otherwise due to its tragic consequences to the survival of orangutans. I do not consider ANY product — cosmetic, household, food — cruelty free if it has palm oil/palm kernel oil/palm fruit oil. In fact, it is quite the opposite. And “sustainable” palm oil does not cut it either. I think it’s important that the use of palm oil and its highly devastating results needs to become part of many conversations. The documentary “Red Ape: Saving the Orangutan” is a must-see and a shocking eye-opener. Can HSUS respond to this issue? Thank you.

  6. Felicia says:

    OMG. This makes my heart so happy. I started writing P&G back in the mid 80s about this very issue. I have not bought their products since. I am so unbelievably happy that the world is FINALLY making the shift towards humanity. Next…China!

  7. Diane B. says:

    So P&G will ban all animal testing for its cosmetics products in major global markets by 2023. That means 4 MORE years of barbaric animal testing! Why is this such great news?

  8. Donna DeMunck says:

    I think it is great that more organizations are agreeing to stop all testing on animals, I wish a lot of the animals that have already suffered could have been saved from all their suffering but thanks to organizations like HSUS things are changing. Animals should only know love not cruelty. This breakthrough is only because of all the hard work the HSUS has done and never quitting until success was achieved. Hopefully more places will follow until testing on animals is a thing of the past.

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