Cosmetic animal testing has already been banned in the UK and the EU, but 80% of countries have no laws against it and more than 500,000 animals are used in cosmetic testing each year, according to animal protection organisation, Cruelty Free International.
“We want to stop all cosmetic animal testing of ingredients and products, everywhere and forever,” said a Body Shop spokesperson.
“Animals continue to be killed for beauty as animal testing legislation is far too complex. We want to simplify it with one international convention.”
They are aiming to get eight million signatures on a petition calling for the United Nations to adopt an international convention that will end animal testing for cosmetics products and ingredients “everywhere and forever”.
The Body Shop was founded in 1976 in Brighton, by Anita Roddick. The cosmetic company believes its business is proof that cosmetics can be made safely without animal testing.
“There are also thousands of already-approved ingredients and existing products available,” the spokesperson stated.
“These progressive alternatives are often cheaper, faster and better at predicting human reactions.”
The Body Shop uses the following humane alternatives to animal testing:
1. Testing on humans.
2. Computer modelling - which can be used to predict the safety of new cosmetic substances based on knowledge of existing substances.
3. Testing on reconstituted human skin.
“Almost every type of human and animal cell can now be grown in the laboratory,” explained the spokesperson.
“Scientists have even managed to coax cells to grow into 3D structures, such as miniature human organs, which can provide a more realistic way to test.
“Human cells donated from volunteers can provide a more relevant way of studying human biology than animal testing.
“For example, tests using reconstituted human skin and other tissues have been developed and are used to replace the cruel rabbit eye and skin irritation tests.”
The reconstituted human skin used by The Body Shop is sourced from EpiSkin - a company founded by L’Oréal.