UPDATE (2014-05): see also
My thanks to a correspondent for the following item and consequent / future Food For Though (and further letter-writing, for any of you out there not working 60+ hour weeks right now…).
Marilisa: thank you VERY much, this is new information to me. Great to see rapid change… though this also casts some gloom on the Urban Decay song-and-dance routine on going into China than coming out of China. On which more coming up in a moment…
Also: I honestly don’t know if this is, as you put it, “gimicky” or not; if it’s honest, true, accurate; and what the hell is actually going on. Based on my own experience with
(a) administration, policy-making, and decision-making witin an organization;
and (b) marketing, branding, and propaganda:
my best guess is that negotiations are ongoing, have been going on since before the public (and indeed many industry insiders) were aware they were, and may continue for some time.
And that these negotiations are delicate, slow, and like peace processes in troubled areas, will have ups and downs and both sides (or however many sides there are) will look like they’ve betrayed their position, people, cause, and The Truth. That’ll doubtless happen many times. Accompanied by non-communication and miscommunication with outsiders (like Joe Public), obfuscation, veiled ambiguous non-statements, blustering rhetoric, empty verbiage, misdirection, the occasional outright untruth, and of course some hand-wringing and requests for patience. The best we can do is keep poking and prodding, whilst still “liking” (to continue the horrid FaceBook analogy). Like peace processes, there are immense gulfs in difference of opinion, perspectivem, point of view, way of seeing the world; differences in culture, language, way of thinking, ethics, politics, economics, and how these things all fit together (or not). The very idea of an “ethical minimal consumer” can be hard to fathom, even in a first-world environment. As witness, I’m sorry to say, way too much of what goes on on MakeupAlley, and one reason I’m limiting my writing there and even reading; sometimes the extent of selfishness, ego-centricity, and not giving a damn about anyone else (or anything, if you’ve decided other animate creatures are things/ojects and to be treated, used, and abused as such…).
Over to our correspondents. Names have been abbreviated and emails removed for privacy purposes…
From: marilisa […]
Date: Monday, 27 August, 2012 11:51 PM
To: “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>
Subject: enquiry about animal testing on Lavera products sold in China
I am a very loyal customer to Lavera products, I love them and since it is difficult to find and buy them in my city I even purchase Lavera products from overseas’ online shops just to not be without them. However, I am also very much concerned about animal tested products and I do not use them.
So, would you please confirm me that your stance of not carrying out test on animals is still valid and trustworthy and let me know whether or not do you distribute and sell your products in China where mandatory animal testing is required by law?I’ll be looking forward to your reply.
From: [P…] <p…@lavera.com.hk>
To: marilisa […]
Sent: Tuesday, 28 August 2012, 3:33
Subject: Re: enquiry about animal testing on Lavera products sold in China
Thank you for your email and your concern.
We stick to our claim not testing on animals and being against animal testing. We have never signed any document in China that we’re testing on animals or allowing anybody else to test on animals.
It is said that the Chinese FDA has been testing on animals in the past during product registration but we have no proof and we have never seen any documents showing that tests have been carried out.
In May the China FDA authorities have announced that officially all animal tests will be ended.
Source: Organic Monitor, UK
China Accepts Animal-Free Testing Methods
The animal protection organization Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has for the first time succeeded in persuading decision-makers in the People’s Republic of China not to use animal testing for cosmetics products.
According to Peta, by the autumn animal-free procedures to test for photo-toxicity will be introduced and will replace methods that have relied on the use of animals.
The animal-free method is already in use in the USA and Europe. It checks chemicals for potential toxicity when they come into contact with sunlight.Hitherto, all cosmetics manufacturers were obliged to test their products on animals before they could get official permission to market in China. In its search for alternatives, Peta has spent more than USD 1 million from donations to get research institutions to develop methods that do not use animals.
I hope this answers your question and concern.
P for lavera Hong Kong
Dear Ginger O’ Rama,
Hi, my name is Marilisa and I am a your blog’s subscriber as well as a regular and devoted reader of it.
I am contacting you to ask your opinion regarding the e-mail [above] which I received form Lavera HK in reply to my enquiry about Lavera’s current animal testing status since their choice of selling their products in China.
Do you think their statement reliable? or is it just a gimmicky attempt to cheat their customers?
I think that if China had really put an end to animal testing then all the fuss about the other cosmetic companies, see for example the great and furious debate and the outraged indignation caused by the UD’s decision to sell their make up products in China and their consequent shameful dodgy back down, would be just silly and meaningless, if I make sense.
Also, I didn’t hear of this breakthrough news about China stopping their infamous mandatory animal testings from anyone else in the cosmetic industry, so what do you think about this?
I hope I didn’t bother you too much with my e-mail and that I made myself clear as I am writing in English but I am Italian and much more often than not I still have to translate in my mind from my own language to English to write it.
All the best
Thank you for this: I’ve put it up on the blog (names disguised, emails removed), we’ll see who else weighs in. I reckon this is tactics and diplomacy at work; might be delicate, and take time, but at least there’s *movement*. And hope for change.