Avon Products, Inc. & Consumer Safety: Commitment to Science…Respect for Animal Welfare
Click here for a pdf of this statement.
The safety of our consumers is of primary concern to Avon. We are committed to selling only safe products, using only safe ingredients in our cosmetics products and complying with applicable regulations in the more than 100 countries in which Avon products are sold. Within this commitment, we also have a deep respect for animal welfare.
In June 1989 Avon announced a permanent end to animal testing of our products, including testing done in outside laboratories. Avon was the first major cosmetic company in the world to end animal testing. For more than 20 years Avon has independently substantiated the safety of its products without animal testing.
Avon does not conduct nor request animal testing in order to substantiate the safety or efficacy of any of its products or raw ingredients. Our approach to safety evaluation utilizes data from computational modeling, in vitro (test tube/cell culture) evaluation and clinical tests on human volunteers, as well as utilization of pre-existing data.
Some products may be required by law in a few countries to undergo additional safety testing, including animal testing. In these instances, Avon will first attempt to persuade the requesting authority to accept non-animal test data.
Avon’s commitment is to work within a country, in partnership with other organizations, to help bring about positive change and the acceptance of non-animal testing methods. Abandoning a market would deny us the opportunity to help drive towards a long term solution.
Avon has been active in the development, implementation and acceptance of alternative test methods since the 1980's, working to identify and develop new testing alternatives with other cosmetic companies and with external organizations. Avon is a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel of the Institute of the InVitro Sciences, Inc., a non-profit research and testing organization dedicated to the advancement of in vitro (non-animal) methods worldwide.
Recently Avon became a Founding Sponsor of the American Society for Cellular Computational Toxicology. Similarly, Avon continues to support the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME) in the UK, the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University in the US, and the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing. We are encouraged to see progress happening around this issue, for example, in China.
Our efforts were recognized as far back as 1993 at the World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences: Education, Research and Testing. Also in 1993, Avon was presented with a Recognition Award from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing in the US for our dedication to the principles of the 3 R's (refinement, reduction, replacement) and the use of alternative tests for safety evaluation.
Reflecting the same commitment to animal welfare, Avon Foundation for Women funding may not be used to fund breast cancer research studies involving animals. The Avon Foundation’s guidelines apply only to studies funded by the Avon Foundation and do not impact other research underway at these same institutions. Avon global philanthropy has donated more than $815 million through 2013 for breast cancer programs in over 50 countries for research and advancing access to care, regardless of a person’s ability to pay.
Click here for a pdf of Q&A below.
1. I thought Avon doesn’t conduct animal testing. Why has PETA put Avon’s name on the list of companies that do test on animals?
Avon’s commitment not to test on animals is the same as it has been for over twenty years – Avon neither conducts nor requests animal testing. Nothing has changed, and we continue to be in communication with PETA on the issue. Avon does business in over 100 countries, and some select products may be required by law in a few countries to undergo additional safety testing, which potentially includes animal testing, under the directive of a government or health agency. In these instances, Avon will first attempt to persuade the requesting authority to accept non-animal test data. When those attempts are unsuccessful, Avon must abide by local laws and submit the products for additional testing. This is not part of Avon’s product safety testing process.
2. If these legal requirements in a few countries are not new, and Avon’s position has not changed, why is the issue being raised now, and why has Avon moved from the PETA list of companies that do NOT test on animals to the list of companies that do?
Although we cannot speak for PETA, we believe they have decided to become more aggressive advocates in the global arena with a focus on changing laws in the handful of countries which require animal testing for some cosmetics. Avon and PETA share a common objective to persuade governments to accept scientifically valid alternative approaches to animal testing. Avon is working together with other global beauty companies to gain acceptance of alternatives to animal testing throughout the world. Avon is just one of a long list of global beauty companies that face the same issue. The only companies that do not are those which market their products in a limited number of countries.
3. Why doesn’t Avon stop selling products where animal testing may be required?
Over our more than 125 year history Avon has served as an agent of positive change for critical issues, including women’s empowerment, human rights, environmental sustainability, diversity, animal welfare and much more. When faced with challenging situations around the world, our commitment is to remain in the countries affected and work to bring about change, such as the acceptance of non-animal testing methods. Abandoning a market does not help bring about a solution.
For example, we are encouraged to see that China recently eliminated the animal testing requirement for certain products.
4. What is Avon doing globally to address this issue?
Avon has worked to advance alternatives to animal testing for decades. Avon’s Vice President of Product Safety & Integrity serves on the Scientific Advisory Panel of The Institute of the In Vitro Sciences, Inc., a non-profit research and testing organization dedicated to the advancement of in vitro (non-animal) methods worldwide (PETA is also a supporter of IIVS). Similarly, Avon continues to support research into alternatives conducted by the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME) in the United Kingdom, the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University in the US, and the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing. Recently, Avon became a Founding Sponsor of the American Society for Cellular Computational Toxicology. In addition, Avon works closely on this issue with other companies in the Beauty industry through the US Personal Care Products Council.
5. Can you specify which countries require animal testing?
As an individual corporation doing business responsibly around the world, Avon does not believe it is in a position to call out specific countries and governments. However, this information is available through various animal rights organizations such as the Humane Society and PETA.
6. I am opposed to animal testing. Can I still use Avon products with confidence?
You can be confident that Avon shares your commitment. Opposition to animal testing and respect for animal welfare has been a cornerstone of Avon’s product safety program since 1989. Avon does not conduct nor request animal testing, and Avon continues to actively work to advance the use of alternatives to animal testing worldwide. Our shared goal is to permanently end all requirements for animal testing wherever they exist, around the world.
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