We asked the experts to answer a few questions and to help explain the reasons why the Leaping Bunny program is still so important.
Why is it important to be third party verified?
Currently there’s no legal definition of the term ‘cruelty-free’ as it appears on product labels. Therefore, any brand is free to self-proclaim that their products are cruelty-free, without the need for verification.
That’s the same with other common claims too! That’s why we’ve made the effort to register our products with the official Vegan Trademark. We’ll keep pushing for accreditations and the highest standards possible for everything we formulate, make and supply.
Isn’t animal testing in the UK & Europe banned for cosmetics?
Yep! Animal testing for cosmetics was banned in the UK in 1998. In 2004, the EU banned animal testing of finished cosmetic products and subsequently banned animal testing of ingredients used in cosmetic products in 2009. In March 2013, the EU banned the sale of cosmetic products that had been tested on animals, or those that contained ingredients that were. But, there’s more to it…
So why is it important to be cruelty free certified?
Despite the testing and marketing bans, companies can sell products in the UK or EU even after they’ve been injected into guinea pigs, forced down rats’ throats, or applied to rabbits’ eyes in China or other countries as long as the tests aren’t used to demonstrate product safety for UK or EU standards. This means companies may continue to pay for tests on animals in China – where they’re required for many products – as long as they rely only on additional data from non-animal methods to sell those products in the UK or EU.”
More recently The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), supported by the European Commission and the ECHA Board of Appeal, demanded new tests on animals for chemicals used exclusively as cosmetics ingredients under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation. ECHA claims that the tests are needed to demonstrate safety for workers who manufacture or handle the substances, but testing ingredients on animals won’t help protect workers. Fundamental biological differences between humans and other animals mean the results of tests on animals don’t reliably predict what will happen in humans.”
Are products that are not tested on animals safe for people to use?
- Human skin cells can be grown in vitro (in a dish) to test ingredients for skin irritation. These tests are more relevant to human safety since they were tested on human cells.
- Modern eye irritation tests can use corneas cultured in vitro instead of using rabbits. The modern test can be conducted in a day whereas rabbit tests take two to three weeks and are notoriously unreliable.
- Companies can use computer models to predict toxicity based on the known chemical structure and behaviour of the existing ingredient.
What is Cruelty Free International & the Leaping Bunny Program?
Cruelty Free International is a charity that works to end animal experiments worldwide. They do this by investigating and exposing the reality of life for animals in laboratories. They challenge decision-makers to make a positive difference for animals. And they champion better science and cruelty free living.
The Leaping Bunny programme was originally established in the 1990s by an international coalition of animal protection organisations. Their logo is given to brands that pass their criteria (read more below).
Why did we choose the Leaping Bunny program to be verified?
The Leaping Bunny programme is regarded as a global gold standard for cruelty free cosmetics, personal care and household products. It is the only internationally recognisable programme that:
- checks for brands conducting, commissioning or being party-to animal testing;
- requires a supplier monitoring system to be implemented by the brand;
- requires supply chain checking for animal testing right down to ingredient manufacturer level;
- requires adherence to a fixed cut-off date policy; and
- acceptance of ongoing independent audits to ensure compliance
That’s all folks!