Saturday, August 4, 2012

Avon Products, Inc. and PETA:

Avon Products, Inc. and PETA: A Shared Commitment to Animal Welfare Q & A

 Click here for a pdf of Q&A below.

1. I thought Avon doesn’t conduct animal testing. Why has PETA put Avon’s name on the list of companies that do test on animals?

Avon’s commitment not to test on animals is the same as it has been for over twenty years – Avon neither conducts nor requests animal testing. Nothing has changed, and we continue to be in communication with PETA on the issue. Avon does business in over 100 countries, and some select products may be required by law in a few countries to undergo additional safety testing, which potentially includes animal testing, under the directive of a government or health agency. In these instances, Avon will first attempt to persuade the requesting authority to accept non-animal test data. When those attempts are unsuccessful, Avon must abide by local laws and submit the products for additional testing. This is not part of Avon’s product safety testing process.

2. How many of your products are tested on animals?

In 2011, Avon offered approximately 9,000 products in over 100 countries, and in that year less than 0.3% of these products were tested on animals under the directives of the law in a few countries. Our goal is to get that number to zero. It is important to reinforce that Avon independently substantiates the safety of its products without any animal testing. The company’s entire global product safety program is built on the foundational principle of opposition to unnecessary animal testing and respect for animal welfare. In 1989 Avon was the first major cosmetic company in the world to establish a policy of no animal testing. The only reason any product is tested on animals is because some governments have yet to accept the use of scientifically valid alternative approaches to safety assessment.

3. If these legal requirements in a few countries are not new, and Avon’s position has not changed, why is the issue being raised now, and why has Avon moved from the PETA list of companies that do NOT test on animals to the list of companies that do?

Although we cannot speak for PETA, we believe they have decided to become more aggressive advocates in the global arena with a focus on changing laws in the handful of countries which require animal testing for some cosmetics. Avon and PETA share a common objective to persuade governments to accept scientifically valid alternative approaches to animal testing. Avon is working together with other global beauty companies to gain acceptance of alternatives to animal testing throughout the world. Avon is just one of a long list of global beauty companies that face the same issue. The only companies that do not are those which market their products in a limited number of countries.

4. What is Avon doing globally to address this issue?

Avon has worked to advance alternatives to animal testing for decades. Avon’s Vice President of Product Safety & Integrity serves on the Scientific Advisory Panel of The Institute of the In Vitro Sciences, Inc., a non-profit research and testing organization dedicated to the advancement of in vitro (non-animal) methods worldwide (PETA is also a supporter of IIVS). Similarly, Avon continues to support research into alternatives conducted by the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME) in the United Kingdom, the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University in the US, and the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing. Recently, Avon became a Founding Sponsor of the American Society for Cellular Computational Toxicology. In addition, Avon works closely on this issue with other companies in the Beauty industry through the US Personal Care Products Council.

5. Can you specify which countries require animal testing?

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, this information is available through various animal rights organizations such as the Humane Society and PETA.

6. I am opposed to animal testing. Can I still use Avon products with confidence?

You can be confident that Avon shares your commitment. Opposition to animal testing and respect for animal welfare has been a cornerstone of Avon’s product safety program since 1989. Avon does not conduct nor request animal testing, and Avon continues to actively work to advance the use of alternatives to animal testing worldwide. As noted, in 2011 less than 0.3% of our approximately 9,000 products were impacted by the government product testing requirements in a few markets, which is not part of Avon’s safety substantiation process. Our shared goal is to permanently end all requirements for animal testing wherever they exist, around the world.

For inquiries about the safety of Avon products, please contact

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