Metro Pets

By Sharon Gomes Thomas

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We love our cosmetics, beauty products, perfumes and spa treatments. However, not one of us would like to think that animals suffered so that we could pamper ourselves. It’s really not worthwhile to stave off a wrinkle if it put a bunny rabbit in pain, is it? So we do the right thing and stock up on products with the label “Not Tested On Animals”. But can we trust that this label really means what it says?

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Oftentimes, products claim to be “cruelty-free” or “not tested on animals,” but this may only refer to the finished product. As you may be aware, the majority of animal testing occurs at the ingredient level. Similarly, some companies may contract other companies to do the testing.

Neither the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nor the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requires animal testing for cosmetics or household products, respectively. There are sufficient existing safety data as well as in vitro alternatives to make animal testing for these products obsolete. Note that virtually every ingredient, even water, has been tested on animals in the past.

How do you know that your favorite product is a true Cruelty Free product? If it has a Leaping Bunny label, it meets the Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals endorsed by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics. Be aware that many companies also meet The Standard and are endorsed by the Coalition but do not have the Leaping Bunny logo.

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The list of companies that meet the Leaping Bunny criteria is extensive. The complete list of Cruelty Free U.S. and International companies can be viewed at –

www.leapingbunny.org/shopsearch.php

The Standard is a voluntary pledge that cosmetic, personal care, and household product companies make to clear animal testing from all stages of product development. The company’s ingredient suppliers make the same pledge and the result is a product guaranteed to be 100 percent free of new animal testing. All Leaping Bunny companies must be open to independent audits, and commitments are renewed on an annual basis. While many ingredients, formulations and finished products have been tested on animals in the past, the standard is designed to prevent future animal testing.

Launched in 1996, the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics represents U.S. animal protection organizations, as well as international partners from the European Union and Canada.

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Do check out the Leaping Bunny site, where you can register for a free pocket sized shopping guide. The site also lists all the personal care, household and pet products that meet The Standard.

Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics
www.LeapingBunny.org
Phone: (888)546-CCIC
P.O. Box 56537
Philadelphia, PA 19111

American Anti-Vivisection Society
www.aavs.org

American Humane Association
www.americanhumane.org

Beauty Without Cruelty, USA
(212) 989-8073

Doris Day Animal League
www.ddal.org

The Humane Society of the United States
www.hsus.org

New England Anti-Vivisection Society
www.neavs.org

Animal Alliance of Canada
http://www.animalalliance.ca

European Coalition to End Animal Experiments
www.eceae.org/english/index.html

For a complete List of International companies supporting this effort —
www.leapingbunny.org/international.php

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Originally published June 2008
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