Norfolk, Va. — Without notifying their customers or PETA, Avon, Mary Kay, and Estée Lauder—which have been on PETA’s list of companies that don’t test cosmetics on animals for decades—have been quietly paying for poisoning tests on animals at the behest of the Chinese government in order to market their products in China. Because they no longer qualify as companies that don’t test, Avon, Mary Kay, and Estée Lauder have been downgraded to PETA’s “do test” list.
Avon banned tests on animals in 1989 following PETA’s very public “Avon Killing” campaign—a play on the company’s “Avon Calling” brand. Mary Kay eliminated animal tests the same year after the company was lampooned by cartoonist Berkeley Breathed in his Bloom County strip in a series called “Night of the Mary Kay Commandos.” Estée Lauder eliminated animal tests the following year. These companies’ bans on the use of animals for product testing began a new marketing era for consumer products, and dozens of other companies soon prohibited all tests on animals and began marketing their products as cruelty-free.
“Avon, Estée Lauder, and Mary Kay have regressed a generation: Their products are once again being dripped into rabbits’ eyes and smeared onto animals’ abraded skin,” says PETA Vice President of Laboratory Investigations Kathy Guillermo. “Fortunately, consumers don’t have to backslide with them—we can still choose to purchase products from the more than 1,000 companies on PETA’s list of companies that do not test on animals.”
PETA is financially supporting the efforts of the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS.org) to promote the Chinese government’s acceptance of non-animal testing methods that are in wide use in the U.S. and the E.U. IIVS is spearheading an international consortium to represent companies that wish to market in countries where tests on animals are required.