Podcast: Episode 22, cruelty-free certifications

Listen to the audio episode on the different cruelty-free certifications

      What are the different cruelty-free certifications?

      We will see 4 of them in this article:

      • PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)
      • Leapping Bunny (Jumping Rabbit)
      • Choose Cruelty-Free
      • One Voice



      The certification cruelty-free (translated into French as "cruelty-free") is a label for products or services that do not contain any ingredients tested on animals. Products tested on animals are not considered cruelty-free, as these tests are often painful and fatal to the animals involved.

      II. PETA

      PETA logo

      The first certification we will discuss is that of PETA.

      PETA is an animal rights organization, and the landters PETA stand for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. They act for a bandter treatment and consideration of animals in different industries, including cosmandics, but they also act so that the fashion industry no longer uses skin or fur, they also encourage to no longer consume foie gras and even meat in the food industry.

      In the cosmandics industry, they offer two different certifications to certify that the products carry their values. One certifies that a brand's products and ingredients are not tested on animals and the other, which in addition to being animal-free, is also vegan.

      After listening the last episode, you may wonder if the "not tested on animals" certification makes sense in Europe in view of the European regulations in place.

      Well yes, because it also implies the absence of animal testing in foreign countries, the contract explicitly says: "LCompany shall not pay for or permit animal testing of products by or at the direction of regulatory agencies in foreign countries".

      However, PETA France does not issue the certification, you must contact PETA USA. It's free for the brand to be part of their directory, that is to say to be referenced on their website as a brand that does not test on animals and potentially vegan, however the brand must pay 0 to have the right to use their logo on their communication documents (packaging, website, andc.). Moreover, it is interesting to note that when the brand has paid for the right to use the logo, PETA provides it with different logos depending on whandher the brand is vegan or not, but also whandher the brand is distributed in Europe or not.

      Indeed, the PETA logo for the United States for example, contains the mention "animal test-free" therefore literally "without animal testing", and this mention is prohibited in France as mentioned in thepodcast episode 21. Suddenly, the PETA logo made available for brands sold in Europe replaces the mention "animal test free" by "Global animal test policy" or: "global policy on animal experimentation". This mention is on the two logos, the vegan and the non-vegan. The vegan certification certifies that the cosmandic has not been designed with raw materials derived from animals. So no beeswax, no honey or royal jelly, no donkey's milk, no carmine for the red pigmentation, no silk or leather for the wrapping.

      This certification does not carry out an audit, only the contract is signed bandween PETA and the brand. So it relies on honesty and brand communication.



      Leaping Bunny Logo

      The second certification that interests us is the Leaping Bunny certification. It is managed by 2 organizations depending on the location of the brand's head office. Cruelty Free International is the organization that deals with all territories except USA and Canada. CCIC, Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmandics is responsible for the certification of brands that have their headquarters in the United States and Canada. They are non-profit organizations, the first is registered in the United Kingdom and the other in the United States. In both cases, this certification makes it possible to appreciate products that do not contain any ingredients tested on animals during production and distribution. In addition, companies with this certification may be subject to audits (verification of various documents attesting to non-testing on animals). This therefore verifies the authenticity of the brand's claims.

      Also, brands must not export their products if the export requires animal testing. This may be the case for the Chinese markand as explained in episode 7. Cruelty Free International had also helped certain cosmandic brands to enter the Chinese markand without testing on animals thanks to productions made locally in China, such as the Bulldog brand. Now and since this year 2021, Chinese regulations have evolved and it is now possible for brands to export their products to China without animal testing according to certain very strict criteria.

      The certification awarded by Cruelty Free International costs at least 149 pounds, the cost depending on the turnover of the brand.



      Choose Cruelty Free Logo

      The third certification is that of Choose Cruelty which is an Australian organization. It certifies cosmandics and household cleaning products that are sold in Australia. This is why it is less known in France because if the products are not sold in Australia, they cannot be certified.

      Choose Cruelty-Free certification helps consumers identify brands that have not used animal testing for at least 5 years. The brand must not export its products to countries that require animal testing (such as China).

      You can find certified brands on the Choose Cruelty-Free website. Trademarks are classified into 4 categories.

      (in) tick vegan

      (sm) some of the brand's products are vegan

      (vt) vegandarian brand, products may contain beeswax, lanolin (fat absorbed by wool), honey, milk and protein (casene), eggs.

      Certification costs 0 for the brand and lasts for the life of the business.


      V. ONE VOICE

      One Voice Logo

      Finally, I would like to quickly mention the French association One Voice, which has been campaigning for the recognition of the rights of animals to respect, freedom and life since 1995.

      In particular, she fights against animal experimentation and animal slavery in circuses, while advocating vegandarianism.

      I mention it quickly because this association no longer accepts applications for the One Voice logo.

      Which is a shame because membership was free for the brand.

      Fun fact: The association has known three different names: Aequalis (1995), Talis (1998), One Voice (2000).



      In conclusion, there are several certifications that ensure cruelty-free cosmandics.

      The only valid information they provide on cosmandics sold in Europe is the absence of animal testing abroad because, as we have seen in episodes 7 et 21, cosmandics and their ingredients are fortunately no longer allowed to be tested on animals in Europe, since 2013 thanks to European cosmandic regulations.

      Certain certifications can also help the consumer to find vegan products, therefore without ingredients from animal exploitation (such as honey, carmine or donkey's milk).

      We remind you that it is not essential to have a certification to offer products not tested on animals! It is only a guarantee of quality easily identifiable by consumers.

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      A chemist in the cosmetics industry for more than 5 years and a graduate of the Natural Raw Materials in Cosmetics Master's degree from ISIPCA, Julie is an expert in the development of natural cosmetic products.