FRAME has used a rabbit logo since 1969 when the charity was founded. FRAME was one of the first organisations set up in the UK, and globally, with the aim of eliminating the need to use animals in research and testing.
In the EU, testing a finished cosmetic product on animals was banned in 2004, testing cosmetic ingredients in 2009 and the sale of any cosmetics tested on animals to any part of the world in 2013. Yet ‘cruelty free’ logos can still be seen on cosmetic products. Many believe that if there is a ban in place, all cosmetic products bought in the EU, and their ingredients, have not been tested on animals, but sadly this is not always the case.
Testing on animals is still required by law for other reasons, such as safety testing of chemicals, drug development and in some countries, unnecessarily, for cosmetics. When buying a cosmetic product within the EU there may be a hidden element of animal testing. This could be where an ingredient supplied for use in a cosmetic product has also been tested on animals by the same supplier for use in a non-cosmetic product. Chemicals are often required to be tested on animals under European REACH regulations concerning chemicals and their use. Some cosmetic companies test their products on animals so they can distribute them in countries such as China, where testing is still required by law on imported cosmetic products. Currently, over 40 countries have banned or restricted cosmetic testing on animals whilst others are working towards this.
Cruelty free logos
To fulfil the requirements for a cruelty free logo, a cosmetic company can choose to stop selling in countries such as China. They can also ensure they use suppliers of ingredients that have not carried out testing on animals to meet REACH regulations. However, animal testing is still going on, for the chemicals being used in other non-cosmetic products under REACH, to study toxicity levels or potential exposure harm to humans, harm to the environment, or to fulfil other countries’ legal requirements.
The world is not yet able to ban the use of all animals in testing and experimentation without halting some basic medical and safety testing. We can however put more time and funding into developing human based research models. Not only will this improve health outcomes for people in the future, it will ultimately provide the replacements that will help end the need for animal use in not only safety testing, but all biomedical and scientific research.
FRAME currently offers some corporate supporters the opportunity to use the FRAME logo on their products in recognition of their contribution. If you see the FRAME logo on a product it does not mean the product has met a set of ‘cruelty free’ requirements. Instead it represents a commitment to supporting the work and aims of FRAME by helping to train and educate scientists in reducing and replacing the number of animals used in research; actively fund research into human-based alternatives and help advance techniques and knowledge that are slowly but surely, paving the way towards a world where animals are no longer needed in testing or research.