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March 17, 2014

Be Cruelty-Free Campaign Backed by Global Stars, Launches in Tokyo to End Cosmetics Animal Testing in Japan

Be Cruelty-Free Japan will promote beauty without animal suffering

Humane Society International

  • For the sake of people and animals HSI urges Japan, the third largest cosmetics market in the world, to Be Cruelty-Free! iStock

TOKYO (17 March 2014) — Humane Society International is excited to announce the launch of its Be Cruelty-Free campaign in Japan, as part of the largest campaign in the world to end animal testing for cosmetics. Already driving policy change across India, China, South Korea, Oceania, Brazil, Russia, Canada and beyond, Be Cruelty-Free is supported internationally by celebrities such as Paul McCartney, Ricky Gervais, Spice Girl Melanie C and Praemium Imperiale recipient, Dame Judi Dench.

Humane Society International, an international non-governmental organization, and cosmetics retailer LUSH Japan have joined forces to promote beauty without animal suffering and call for Japan to end animal testing for cosmetics. Japan is the third largest cosmetics market in the world -- after the European Union and the United States -- worth an estimated $22.3 billion.

Sakiko Yamazaki, HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free Japan communications consultant, said:  “We are excited to launch our world-leading Be Cruelty-Free campaign in Japan. Sadly, here in Japan rabbits and other animals still endure unnecessary suffering in outdated cosmetics tests that have been banned in a growing number of countries around the globe. HSI applauds the efforts of those advancing state-of-the-art non-animal tests, however Japan’s cosmetics industry still relies on animal tests developed in the 1940’s to assure the safety of our consumers. For the sake of people and animals, we’re urging Japan to Be Cruelty-Free!”

You can help. Take action and donate to support our efforts.

Although Japanese law doesn’t require non-medicated cosmetics to be tested on animals, it doesn’t prohibit it either, leaving the decision to individual companies. Brands such as Shiseido and Mandom have ended much, but not all, of their animal testing. However, most other leading cosmetics companies in Japan still test on animals. These tests can include skin and eye irritation, where chemicals are rubbed onto the shaved skin or dripped into the eyes of rabbits; and “lethal dose” tests, in which animals are forced to swallow large amounts of a test chemical to determine the dose that causes death.

Worldwide, hundreds of cosmetics companies avoid new animal testing by using safe, existing ingredients and available non-animal tests. Consumer awareness in Japan about cosmetics animal testing is also growing. A recent opinion poll survey commissioned by LUSH, HSI and domestic animal protection organizations shows that nearly 90 per cent of Japanese consumers don’t want cosmetics companies to use ingredients that require animal testing.   

Cruelty-free cosmetics retailer LUSH welcomes the launch of HSI’s campaign in Japan. Emi Akiyama, LUSH Japan’s Charity & Campaign Supervisor, said:   

"We believe in 'buying ingredients only from companies that do not test on animals,' so we show our attitude against animal testing through the entire manufacturing process. We have also established the LUSH PRIZE to support researchers and NGOs developing and promoting testing methods that do not use animals. We strongly believe cosmetics animal testing is unnecessary and cruel and we manufacture safe cosmetic products without testing on animals. In the United Kingdom where LUSH has its headquarters, animal testing for cosmetics ended in 1997, and was banned across the whole of Europe in 2009. But Japan has still not banned this practice. We truly support the launch of HSI’s Be Cruelty-Free Japan campaign, and hope that Japanese consumers get behind it to end cosmetics animal testing in Japan."

Japanese consumers can show their support for to end to cosmetics animal testing in Japan by going online to sign the Be Cruelty-Free pledge.

ENDS

Media contacts:

HSI in Japan: Sakiko Yamazaki, syamazaki@hsi.org

Sachiko Azuma, 070-5584-9546, sazuma@hsi.org (Japanese only)

HSI in the United Kingdom: Wendy Higgins, +44 (0)7989 972 423, whiggins@hsi.org

Notes

Animal testing is required by law when companies wish to use new ingredients. For example, if a company wishes to revise the positive list of the Cosmetics Standards to use new preservative or UV absorbing agents, or new ingredients in medicated (quasi-drug) cosmetics.

The term “cruelty-free cosmetics” refers to cosmetics products, formulations and ingredients that have not been tested on animals after a specified date because on that date they were already considered safe to use for cosmetic purposes. This does not mean the ingredients, formulations or products were not tested on animals in the past.

Non-animal tests represent the very latest techniques that science has to offer and have a number of advantages over traditional animal tests: they cause no animal suffering, offer test results that are more relevant to people and often produce cheaper and faster results. For example, there are a number of skin tests available that use human reconstructed skin, such as EPISKIN, EpiDerm and SkinEthic, as wells as the 3T3 neutral red uptake test for sunlight-induced “phototoxicity”, and the Bovine Corneal Opacity and Permeability test for eye corrosion.

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