Yves Rocher’s Statement On Animal Testing & Selling in China

RESEARCH: Regarding animal testing and selling in China
ANSWERS: Against animal testing but their products are sold in China and are open to testing
RESULT: Personal boycott

I recently noticed on the Leaping Bunny website that Yves Rocher was no longer listed so I decided check the Yves Rocher website but couldn’t find their animal testing policy on there. I got into contact Yves Rocher about their animal testing policy and it was the most detailed response I’ve received from a company on their animal testing policy to date.

Here is a summary of their statement

  1. They do not test their products or ingredients on animals.
  2. They do not use products derived from animals in their products except for honey and beeswax
  3. They do not purchase ingredients from suppliers who conduct testing on animals “exclusively for beauty care products.”
  4. They sell their products in China and have not and will not on animals. The Chinese government is at liberty to test their products on animals if they deem so, which Yves Rocher is attempting to prevent by working with the government.

Personally I like that they are making a lot of decisions to prevent the use of animal testing and putting money towards researching other reliable methods of safety testing. However they sell in China and even though they themselves won’t test on animals, the idea that the Chinese government can do so at any time irks me. I’m also dissuaded because they make it out like the Chinese government is at fault without acknowledging that they entered into a market that has mandatory animal testing. Just be honest and own up to the fact that you wanted to make a lot of money in the Chinese market.

Here is their full statement.

Dear Sir/Madam,

We were very interested in your question concerning our position on using animals in testing beauty products and thank you for your enquiry. We hope we can enlighten and reassure you on this matter.

The Yves Rocher Brand entered the fight against using animals in testing beauty products at a very early stage. The Brand suggested as early on as 1989 to replace the tests on animals for finished products with alternative methods. Yves Rocher encouraged other important players in the economy to follow suit. In 1992, the S.P.A. (Society for the protection of animals) awarded us the gold medal for our action towards animals. Our commitments enable us to work with One Voice which is the reference in France for the fight against animal suffering along with the protection of the environment. The One Voice Label given to products which are not tested on animals and certified as organic was awarded to our organically certified products.

In line with our commitment we openly admit that:

  1. We never use or encourage animal testing whether it concerns our finished products or their ingredients.
  2. We invest in research programs on alternative methods to testing on animals in order to promote and encourage their widespread use. Our research for example, is concentrated on new methods for measuring allergies in vitro for natural ingredients.
  3. Our Internal charter for the ingredients in our products is extremely strict: we refuse to use any raw materials of animal origin (except honey and bee’s wax). For example, we refuse to use a pigment frequently found in eyeshadows called cochineal coming from an insect with the same name which produces carmine acid to protect it from its predators and is used as a scarlet dye.
  4. We refuse to develop plant extracts for our products which require testing on animals to ensure their safety. For example, last year we abandoned the development of an exclusive active which had been the subject of many years of research in our laboratories but required testing on animals in order to further its development. As a result Yves Rocher chose to forego years of research and remain faithful to its commitments.
  5. We refuse to acquire raw materials from suppliers who have tested them on animals exclusively for beauty care products.

Yves Rocher sells certain products in China and we can assure you that they have not been tested on animals and never will be.

However, the Chinese authorities can decide, on their own, to test beauty products themselves before allowing them to be sold in their country. The Chinese authorities carry out tests in specially designed centers which unfortunately do not have alternative methods available. We find this completely deplorable particularly since we have been fighting animal suffering for many years.

Instead of avoiding the problem we have chosen to maintain contact with the Chinese authorities concerned in order to make them aware of the problem of animal suffering and convince them of the reliability of alternative methods available on the market. We strongly believe that keeping the discussion open will help bring change but it is an ongoing combat which we regret might take time to resolve in this traditional country.

Yves Rocher, Creator of Botanical Beauty, has been committed to the protection of Nature and Sustainable Development for more than 50 years.

We hope that this information has answered all your questions and we are at your disposal if you have any more concerns. [Oct 2, 2012]

For a list of animal testing policies by companies I’ve contacted, check out the list here: List of Animal Testing Policies by Companies.

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  1. In China and smimilar countries, they seem to not have any feelings towards animals. They don’t really care about them. Of course they are not ALL like that but majority yes… It’s almost like they are enjoying to make animals suffer.

  2. Yves Rocher wants to make money, and China is a massive market. If they were completely against animal testing, they wouldn’t leave their products in the hands of authorities who would possibly test and perpetuate animal suffering. It is like they are passing the buck and turning a blind eye. Companies like Urban Decay have reversed their decision to sell in China because of the possibility that their products may be tested on animals, and because of the outrage from their customers. http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2012/07/06/urban-decay-s-decaying-principles.aspx Though I dislike Yves Rocher, I do appreciate your article. I wrote about this issue too, in several entries on my blog. It’s great to get people talking about this stuff. http://theclassyanarchist.com/?s=Yves+Rocher :)

  3. wow this makes me sad as i recently started using their products and was sure they were a cruelty free brand.
    Do you know anything about the Simple brand or Avene by any chance?
    Also you mentioned Joe Fresh but they sell in China dont they?
    thanks for all your helpful info on here!

  4. Thanks for your post. I recently had a very similar experience with Jurlique. Same argument. It the case of Jurlique I kept getting more and more emails trying to convince me that “its not them” its “the Chinese government”. Yes, but if companies refused to bend to Chinese “policy” the Chinese consumer would change the law because they too want the product. YES, on boycotting firms that sell their products in China. Consumers ultimately have a lot of power, if we care to use it. Have a lovely day!

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