Shiseido, one of the oldest cosmetic companies in the world and the largest in Japan, announced in Friday that it would no longer be selling animal-tested cosmetics. The decision was spurred by the European Union, which is about to finalize a ban against all sales of such products before the end of the month.
However, Shiseido clarifies that there will still be a few exceptions to this policy, notably when animal testing is the only way to prove that certain products already being sold are safe, or in certain countries that legally require animal testing. The Tokyo-based company says the policy will go into effect from this April, and will be applied to all of its cosmetic production sites, including those run by suppliers. A Shiseido stated that business partners that supply materials will not conduct animal testing, and they will stop the practice relying on outside labs to carry out such tests.
Shiseido stopped testing on animals at its own labs in 2011, but formally took the policy one step further at a board meeting on Thursday. Europe is a key market for the Japanese firm, and going forward its cosmetics will have their safety proven through other means, such as using data from previous experiments, human volunteers, or other forms of testing. Animal rights activists around the world have long called for cosmetic companies to find alternatives to animal testing, as the act is seen as cruel and unnecessary.