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Cosmetics giant L’Oreal has called its new hair dye ‘vegan’ – despite recently coming under fire from animal rights campaigners for labeling a haircare product ‘vegan’ while still allowing its products to be tested on animals.
According to the brand’s own statement, its products are tested because they are sold in the Chinese market.
The statement says: “L’Oreal does not test any of its products or any of its ingredients on animals… Nevertheless, because our products are sold in China, L’Oreal still figures on the PETA [animal testing] list.
“In China, the health authorities still require and carry out animal testing for certain products.”
The vegan label
Some consumers have questioned how the product can be labeled as ‘vegan’ if it is not cruelty-free.
This is possible because under America’s Food and Drug Administration [FDA] there is no legal definition for terms pertaining to animal testing – so phrases like ‘against animal testing’ can be applied even if a product is tested.
According to the FDA: “The unrestricted use of these phrases by cosmetic companies is possible because there are no legal definitions for these terms.”
This means that although L’Oreal’s ‘vegan’ label isn’t true in the ethical sense of the word, because the product contains no animal by-products, it can apply the label.
The new launch is reportedly an attempt by L’Oreal to jump on the growing ‘natural’ trend, by eliminating ammonia and other chemicals from the new formulation.
Nicolaus Jouan, an analyst at market research firm Euromonitor International, said: “Natural beauty is enjoying a strong growth, as major brands obviously try to seize the trend, but the lack of clear definition makes it difficult to quantify.
“L’Oreal is slow-moving, but seems to have understood the trend and most notably its impact on sales.”