Procter and Gamble, commonly known as P&G, is a huge personal care product company. They control such brands as Covergirl, Herbal Essences, Olay, Gillette, and Pantene, to name a few. Although we recognize them for their well-known brands, P&G doesn’t necessarily stick out as a company that would be a leader in animal testing alternatives.

On PETA’s Cruelty Free Shopping Guide, you won’t find P&G, even though Procter & Gamble announced, on June 30, 1999, that it had revised its animal-testing policy. According to PETA, the reason it is left off the list is because “Procter & Gamble has not permanently halted all non-required animal experiments. According to P&G, it will not perform experiments on many existing products. P&G has not committed to discontinuing the testing of new ingredients or new products on animals.”

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In addition, In Defense of Animals still runs a campaign boycotting P&G for animal testing, and the Ethical Consumer lists boycotts and undercover investigations by PETA, Uncaged, and BUAV.

Despite all this, P&G lists an impressive statement regarding animal testing on their website.

As for animal testing, P&G Beauty & Grooming’s position is clear: We do not test our products on animals, nor do we ask suppliers to test them on our behalf. We do not test ingredients on animals, except in very rare cases when necessary to meet government-mandates or safety obligations. We are committed to continuing our key contributions in research to develop non-animal alternative methods which will ultimately permit the elimination of animal testing. We apply these principles all around the globe, in every region and every country where we operate.

Recently, Cosmeticsdesign-europe.com’s Andrew McDougall released an exclusive interview with P&G’s Principle Scientist of Communications Dr. Harald Schlatter.

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Dr. Schlatter says that P&G has created a new skin allergy test, the Direct Peptide Reactivity Assay, that “marks a milestone in overcoming the need for animal testing.”

In addition, McDougall reports that P&G scientists are working on a another test to allow a more sophisticated assessment, and that the current test will be introduced globally in an effort to replace animal testing. So, it seems that, however murky P&G’s past may be, there is mounting evidence that they are working on, and succeeding, in the field of animal testing alternatives, which is great news!

Image Source: radioedit/Flickr

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