Three of the cosmetics industry’s biggest companies, Mary Kay, Avon, and Estee Lauder (and all the brands under them!) have been named in a class action lawsuit filed in California on behalf of American consumers. The lawsuit sites that these companies fraudulently claimed not to be doing animal testing when in fact they were, misleading the American public.
This lawsuit comes after the news in February that PETA was removing these companies from their cruelty free list. The reason that these companies were removed is they are sold in China. China requires cosmetics to be tested on animals, so there isn’t any way these companies could truly be cruelty free. The lawsuit seeks more than $100,000,000 in punitive and compensatory damages for a class of more than 1,000,000 consumers.
I am actually really happy to hear about this. Whether or not you are a cruelty free beauty user exclusively, I like the idea of these corporations being held responsible. I hate that companies are able to get away with being vague about their practices, and maybe this lawsuit will help encourage other companies (okay, scare them) to be more transparent and forthcoming with information to consumers. Maybe it will also make them think twice about this whole thing, and flex their power and influence to get China’s animal testing policies changed. Cosmetics are a multi billion dollar industry. Surely there’s something someone can do?
The technology is already out there to test cosmetic products without the use of animals. Usually these matters all come down to one thing: money. And that is why I hope the lawsuit not only goes forward, but that they win. You can’t teach a large company anything unless you hit them where they will feel it: their bottom line. Whether or not you are worried about animal testing, we simply cannot allow companies to lie to consumers, even by omission.