Wet n Wild is Still Cruelty-Free!

May 31, 2019By 1 Comment

Wet n Wild is Still Cruelty-Free!

In light of the recent Wet n Wild “controversy” (i.e. they were “caught” selling products in mainland China), I wanted to dig a little deeper and learn a bit more about Chinese animal testing laws, which certainly don’t appear to black and white. I reached out to PETA, whom I used to work for back in the day (and credit them to helping me go vegan almost two decades ago) because I know they have an air tight legal department and they don’t take “cruelty-free” status lightly.

Directly from PETA:

In order to be listed as cruelty-free by PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Program, all companies and brands must submit a legally-binding Statement of Assurance signed by their CEO verifying that they and their ingredient suppliers do not conduct, commission, pay, for or allow any tests on animals for ingredients, formulations, or finished products anywhere in the world and will not do so in the future. Companies applying to the program must also submit detailed paperwork that describes how the companies test their products, where they are sold, what kinds of products they offer, and what kinds of ingredients they use.  We also require all companies to have agreements in place with their suppliers that no animal testing is done at any stage on any of the ingredients or raw materials they supply to the company for its products.  In order to ensure that our list is accurate and up-to-date, we do re-certify companies for various reasons and reserve the right to remove them from the cruelty-free list if they no longer meet our humane standards.  Additionally, the Statement of Assurance legally binds the companies to alert us immediately if there are any changes to their policy not to test on animals and we research this regularly.

PETA works directly with companies’ CEOs, management teams, research and development specialists, and global sustainability officers to ensure that all of the information we receive is 100% accurate and complete, from the top down.

I understand that many people gravitate to beauty bloggers for cruelty-free brand lists, but please bear in mind, that organizations like PETA aren’t simply exchanging q&a’s with companies, they’re meticulously hashing out details with their legal teams to ensure there aren’t any loopholes or funny business involved.

How can a company that sells in China be cruelty-free?

In 2012, PETA was the first animal rights group to expose that some formerly cruelty-free companies were quietly paying for tests on animals in order to sell their products in Mainland China.  At that time, the Chinese government required tests on animals for all cosmetics sold in the country.  Companies selling in China were required to pay the Chinese government and submit samples of their products to be tested on animals in Chinese laboratories as part of the pre-market registration process.  Cosmetic companies that only sell to directly to consumers through online sales, such as e-commerce platforms or their own websites, and not in physical locations in Mainland China, are not subject to China’s requirements for tests on animals.

We’ve been fighting hard to end the Chinese government’s animal testing requirements ever since, and have funded scientists on working on the ground to train Chinese scientists in non-animal methods and collaborate with the Chinese government to accept non-animal test data.

In 2014, the Chinese government announced a regulatory change that enables companies that manufacture non-special use cosmetics in China to sell those products without tests on animals.  Non-special use cosmetics include products like shampoo, body wash, and lotions that do not make a “functional” claim, and those products must be manufactured in China in order to qualify for this exemption to the government’s requirements for tests on animals for cosmetics.  Government agencies confirmed this information to corporations with which PETA works.

We confirmed with several sources in contact with the Chinese regulatory authorities that post-market testing is not, and has not been, done with tests on animals.  That allegation was made in a single report, which was initially credible, but which we now know to be false.  Instead, authorities sometimes pull products and do an analysis of ingredients so make sure the ingredients are exactly as they’re listed. The initial information released on post-market testing was incorrect.

In order to be eligible for our cruelty-free list, companies that sell in China may only sell domestically manufactured (made in China) non-special use cosmetics.  These companies are also required to commit not to introduce any products that would require tests on animals, to commit to withdrawing their products from the region rather than allow any tests on animals, should they become required, and to inform the Chinese authorities of this policy to ensure that they are notified and can withdraw from the market if tests on animals ever become required for their products.

However, tests on animals have not completely ended in China. Any company that imports any cosmetics to China must still pay the Chinese government to test those products on animals in Chinese laboratories. Furthermore, all special-use cosmetics are still required to be tested on animals if they’re sold in China, wherever they were manufactured.

In summary, there are legitimate ways for a company to sell in China and avoid the requirements for tests on animals.  Those companies are eligible for PETA’s cruelty-free certification if they:

  1. Only sell their products directly to consumers via online sales (through e-commerce or their own website); OR

  2. If they only sell domestically manufactured (made-in-China) non-special use cosmetics, commit to not introducing any new products in the market the future that would be required to be tested on animals, commit to withdrawing their products from the market should they become required to be tested on animals, and officially notify the Chinese regulatory authorities that they will not allow their products to be tested on animals for any reason and will withdraw them from the market in the event tests on animals become required.

PETA has announced that wet n wild has met all the requirements of their Beauty Without Bunnies program and remains cruelty-free while selling products in China.

About Sunny ()

Longtime vegan, hardcore compassionate beauty junkie, serious cake aficionado, and lover of all things floofy and sparkly! If there's something in particular you'd like me to review, drop me a line at Sunny@VeganBeautyReview.com. You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Google +.

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