RICKY GERVAIS RAPS COSMETICS COMPANIES FOR TESTING ON ANIMALS AND ABANDONING
ETHICS TO SELL PRODUCTS IN CHINA
Actor and comedian Ricky Gervais lashed out against
cosmetics companies that put profit before compassion and test on animals to
sell their products in China, where the practice often is required by law.
Gervais spoke out in support of Humane
Society International's Be Cruelty-Free campaign, which is working in
Australia and around the world to end cosmetics animal testing once and for
A number of once cruelty-free companies with operations in or
that export to China, includingYves Rocher, L'Occitane, Mary Kay and
Caudalie, were recently and
very publicly removed from the internationally recognised Leaping
Bunny.org list of cruelty-free companies. Ditching ethics for profits,
Gervais said, is unacceptable.
"Like me, most people will be shocked
to learn that testing cosmetics on animals is often still a legal
requirement in China," Gervais said. "By law, rabbits must have cosmetic
chemicals dripped in their eyes or spread over their sensitive skin, causing
sores and bleeding. It makes me really angry that this is still going on,
and it makes me particularly angry that some previously cruelty-free
companies are abandoning their principles and returning to animal testing in
order to profit from the Chinese market."
"China's cosmetics market
is worth billions of dollars and virtually every major global cosmetic
company is getting a piece of the action," he continued. "It remains one of
the few countries in the world to insist on animal testing, so companies
manufacturing there have made the very clear choice to test lipsticks and
shampoo on animals to increase their profit margins."
praised global brand Urban Decay for its recent decision not to start
selling its products in China, following pleas from animal welfare groups
and ethical consumers. Urban Decay was temporarily removed from the Leaping
Bunny.org cruelty-free list endorsed by HSI, but promptly reinstated
following its compassionate decision.
"Ethical principles shouldn't
be up for sale," Gervais said. "You cannot put a price on morality and
compassion. So I say 'congratulations' to Urban Decay, a massive cosmetics
brand that recently made a very public U-turn when it realised its plans to
start selling in China would have meant unnecessary suffering for hundreds
of animals. In deciding against selling in China, Urban Decay has sent a
very powerful message to the rest of the industry -- you don't have to sell
your soul in order to be a globally successful cosmetics brand. I applaud
them for that and I urge other companies to follow their compassionate
On a positive note, there are signs China might reconsider
some of its animal testing requirements for cosmetics. A Europe-wide ban on
selling newly animal-tested cosmetics due in 2013 has spurred Chinese
regulators' interest in non-animal test methods.
"There is also hope
on the horizon in China," Gervais acknowledged. "Real progress is being made
with getting advanced non-animal test methods accepted, and I'm sure that
before too long, China will be a world leader in humane alternative
techniques. But it's no coincidence that this new energy towards
alternatives has happened under the spotlight of consumer criticism.
Compassionate consumers have a powerful voice and we can speak up for those
animals in labs who cannot be heard. So make your voice count, sign the Be
Cruelty-Free pledge and help Humane Society International achieve a world
where no animal has to suffer and die for the sake of cosmetics."
Australia, Be Cruelty-Free is co-ordinated by
HSI/Australia, Choose Cruelty-Free and
Humane Research Australia.Consumers are urged to sign the
Be Cruelty-Free pledge at
choosecrueltyfree.org.au for a listof cruelty-free products.