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This article appeared in the Australian Competition Consumer and Contract Law Tracker
 
Consumers misled by false “cruelty free” claims
 

Choice has released findings that show cosmetic companies which claim their products are not tested on animals and are “cruelty free” are in fact testing products on animals in order to sell within China.

Chinese law prohibits the sale of cosmetics that have not undergone eye and skin irritation tests on animals. Choice claims that cosmetic companies have gone back on their word to stop animal testing in order to break into the lucrative Chinese cosmetics market.

Choice conducted a “shadow shop” at Myer and David Jones and found that sales people selling SKII, Lancome, Dior and M.A.C claimed their products were not tested on animals, when in fact it is known that these companies test on animals in order to meet Chinese legal requirements.

Choice also found that while many cosmetic brands displayed logos and words such as “cruelty free” and “against animal testing” which give consumers the impression that the products are not tested on animals, only a handful were actually certified by a third party.

Choice is calling on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to protect consumers against false and misleading animal testing representations by cosmetic companies.

More information is available at www.choice.com.au/animaltesting.

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