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For Immediate Release: 05/01/06

Campaign against U.S. Cosmetics Testing on Animals Launches

Consumer-driven campaign brings to light industry’s misleading labeling practice

Sacramento, CA — The Animal Protection Institute (API), a national non-profit animal advocacy organization, today announced the launch of a campaign to combat misleading animal testing labeling practices by the cosmetics industry.

Each year, across the United States, untold numbers of animals are subjected to painful procedures in the name of beauty. Recognizing that consumers wish to avoid animal testing when shopping for cosmetics, many companies label their products as “not tested on animals” but, sadly, those claims can be misleading. “Not tested on animals” may only refer to the final product, not its ingredients, or the company itself may not test their products on animals, but may pay someone else to do it.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require animal testing of cosmetics, yet allows companies to use phrases such as “cruelty-free” or “not tested on animals” without restriction because no legal definition is applied to those terms.

API will be leading a national initiative to educate consumers nationwide and bring to light misleading labeling by cosmetics companies. The campaign will empower consumers to make ethical choices when shopping, by supporting only those companies that are signed up to the Leaping Bunny program — the only internationally recognized standard that guarantees that products are free from animal testing.

“Animals continue to suffer and die needlessly in painful tests for shampoos, soaps, lotions, toothpaste, and makeup,” says Michelle Thew, Chief Executive Officer of API. “Compassionate consumers are a large, well-intentioned, economically powerful market, but they are being misled by cosmetics companies. Consumers wish to avoid animal testing when they shop. API’s campaign will give them the tools to do so.”

British-born Thew is the former head of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) and was instrumental in banning animal testing of cosmetics in the European Union. She looks forward to bringing the same progress to the U.S.

“Leaping Bunny only asks a company to sign a simple pledge that says they have confirmed their products and ingredients will not be tested on animals now, or in the future,” Thew continues. “If a company is unwilling to do so, then consumers need to ask them why. Consumers must use their buying power to send a message to cosmetics companies that continue to test on animals.”

Cosmetics companies that have signed the Leaping Bunny pledge and do not test on animals include Urban Decay, Hard Candy, The Body Shop, Kiss My Face, and Jason Natural Cosmetics. The complete list of cruelty-free companies and products, as well as educational tools for consumers, can be found at www.CompassionateConsumer.com.

API is a national non-profit animal advocacy organization working to end animal cruelty and exploitation through legislation, litigation and public education. For more information, visit www.api4animals.org. For more information on API’s cosmetics campaign and our support of the Leaping Bunny program, visit www.CompassionateConsumer.com.

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Contact:
Zibby Wilder, Animal Protection Institute (API), 916-447-3085 x205

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