• By law, all human cosmetics sold in China must first be tested on animals
• Lucrative Chinese beauty sales rose by 18 per cent to Â£10bn last year
• Cruelty Free International chief executive 'disappointed' to see brands 'letting animals pay the price' for their profit-chasing
By Suzannah Hills
PUBLISHED: 14:58, 31 July 2012 | UPDATED: 10:50, 1 August 2012
Several big name beauty companies have been forced to remove a logo that declares them free of animal cruelty after they decided to sell their products in China.
L'Occitane, Yves Rocher and Caudalie are among the high end brands that can no longer use the internationally-recognised official Leaping Bunny logo to show their cosmetics are free from animal testing.
It comes after the firms decided to start selling to China where animal testing on beauty products for human use is still required by law.
Cosmetic sales in China increased by 18 per cent to £10billion last year - making it an attractive financial prospect.
But many companies selling their products in the country have been asked to fund animal testing of their products in Chinese laboratories in order for them to be sold to the public.
Cruelty Free International chief executive Michelle Thew said: 'The Humane Standards, symbolised by the Leaping Bunny logo, is the most rigorous international cruelty-free certification in the world.
'Each company is regularly audited to ensure that no animal testing takes place throughout each company's entire supply chain.
'Where companies no longer comply with the Humane Standards, the right to use the Leaping Bunny logo is retracted.
'Following discussion with L'Occitane, its certification was retracted in mid-December.
'Some companies wish to bring ethical beauty to China, however this is not currently possible until China changes its current policy which requires animal testing.
'I am disappointed that certain companies have fallen prey to the lure of the Chinese market and are letting animals pay the price. Consumer pressure can make a difference.
'We certify over 400 companies around the world that refuse to allow animal testing into their products, so there is plenty of choice for everyone who wishes to eliminate this cruel, unnecessary and outdated practice.
'The only way that you can avoid animal testing in your toiletries and beauty products is by looking for the Leaping Bunny logo, or checking www.GoCrueltyFree.org.'
Britain banned animal testing in 1998 and several large cosmetics companies including Paul Mitchell, Sainbury's, The Co-operative, Superdrug, Marks & Spencer all have Leaping Bunny certification meaning they are cruelty-free.
Hair-care giant John Paul Mitchell Systems pulled out of China after being informed that the company would have to pay for animal tests in order to continue selling its products there.
Paul Mitchell CEO and co-founder John Paul DeJoria put sales in China on hold last year and confirmed they will not sell products in that country in order to remain committed to the company's cruelty-free policy.
Mr DeJoria said: 'Since Paul Mitchell was founded in 1980, we have been cruelty-free.
'We do not conduct or condone animal testing on our products, and we will not attempt to market our products in China until alternatives to animal testing methods have been accepted by the government.
'Paul Mitchell always has been and always will be cruelty-free.'
Dr Dan Lyons, Campaigns Director of internal animal protection organisation Uncaged, said it is down to individual companies to make a stand.
He continued: 'It's a fundamental decision companies need to make.
'It's much better if they stick to their principles and avoid China, which will put pressure on the government to change their own policies.
'It's unnecessary for China to require repeat and totally unnecessary testing on these products.'
Urban Decay has also recently decided to cancel its plans to enter the Chinese market after being informed of the animal testing requirements.
Spokesman for the charity People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Foundation, Alistair Currie, said: 'We are seeing welcome signs of progress in China but their current animal testing requirements are a major factor pushing up cosmetics tests on animals globally.
'Companies who have turned their backs on their non-animal testing policies because of the lure of China have regressed a generation: their products are once again being dripped into rabbits' eyes and smeared onto animals' abraded skin.
'While many progressive and principled companies are sticking to their non-animal testing policies, others need more motivation.'
But the revelation that some large name brands are giving up their cruelty-free status to sell to China will come as a surprise to many shoppers.
Even more surprisingly, there are many huge international brands including Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Revlon, which have never been able to use the Leaping Bunny logo because of their animal testing policies.
And while an EU-wide ban on the marketing of animal-tested cosmetics is due to come into force next year, campaigners warn that the European Commission is now contemplating compromises or even delays to the legislation.
Mr Currie continued: 'It's vital that the EU protect its own ban on the sale of animal-tested cosmetics due in 2013.
'We've led the world on this issue – we mustn't take any steps backward right here in our own back yard.'
A spokesman for L'Occitane said: 'L'Occitane does not and never has tested its products on animals.
'Similarly, we insist that our suppliers certify that none of the ingredients we use are tested on animals.
'We do sell our products in China however and the Chinese government reserves the right to conduct tests, but we are hopeful that this situation will change soon.
'We are actively working with the BUAV, with whom we have a long term and constructive relationship, to influence the Chinese authorities to allow the alternative tests that apply elsewhere in the world.'
Jean-Christophe Samyn, Director of Caudalie UK, said: 'We are against animal testing. We do not test our ingredients and formulas on animals and never will.'
ARE YOUR FAVOURITE COSMETICS CRUELTY-FREE?
LEAPING BUNNY APPROVED
Marks & Spencer
Faith In Nature
L'Occitane Yves Rocher
Caudalie Mary Kay
Avon Estee Lauder
Johnson & Johnson FCUK
Clinique Christian Dior
Givenchy Yves Saint Laurent
Lancome Virgin Vie
Yardley Proctor & Gamble