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Animal Testing Alternatives

P&G Beauty & Grooming Animal Testing Principles

As for animal testing, P&G Beauty & Grooming's position is clear: We do not test our products on animals, nor do we ask suppliers to test them on our behalf.

We do not test ingredients on animals, except in very rare cases when necessary to meet government-mandates or safety obligations.

We are committed to continuing our key contributions in research to develop non-animal alternative methods which will ultimately permit the elimination of animal testing.

We apply these principles all around the globe, in every region and every country where we operate. 

Shaping an Alternative World Helps Maintain Our High Product Safety Standards.

P&G Beauty & Grooming considers consumer safety a top priority. We fully support the global cosmetic and personal care product safety regulations that are in place to ensure that consumers are safe when using our products. We are convinced that the only way forward for maintaining the high safety standards of today's products and meeting our consumers' safety expectations is to develop and use non-animal alternative testing methods. We have already made significant progress in this area. 

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Alternatives - What are they?

Alternative methods have classically been defined by the "Three R's":

  • Replacement of an animal test by a non-animal test
  • Refinement of an animal test to reduce or eliminate stress or suffering
  • Reduction in the number of animals needed in a test

P&G Beauty & Grooming and our partners are focused on the development of replacement methods. Alternative methods attempt to mimic the biological effects on an organism utilizing bacteria, isolated cells, cell cultures or tissues, and are often called in vitro tests. Once invented, an alternative method needs to be validated and accepted by government agencies. This process can easily take as long as a decade to complete.

Alternatives - 99% there!

Completing the Goal

Today, the vast majority of P&G Beauty & Grooming's safety assessments (greater than 99 percent) are conducted by using non-animal alternative methods. This is a direct result of our leadership efforts in developing alternative methods and applying other risk assessment approaches. These approaches include the use of large computer databases that fully leverage existing historical data, computer modeling that estimates biological properties of ingredients (so-called in silico models) and using new risk assessment methods, such as the Quantitative Risk Assessment of contact allergens.

This enabled P&G to stop the testing of finished cosmetic products on animals a decade ago - and years before this was mandated by the E.U. Cosmetics Directive. In addition, we are proud of our ablility to continue to innovate without testing cosmetic ingredients on animals for acute safety endpoints not only in the E.U., but globally.

As a company, P&G has invested more than $250 million to develop more than 50 proven alternative methods. We've shared our alternatives research broadly in more than 400 scientific publications, presentations and meetings. We want other researchers and manufacturers to benefit from our advances so everyone can learn how to ensure safety without using animals.

What's Next for Alternative Methods?

It is often said that the most challenging portion of a marathon is the final mile. While we have made tremendous progress, we still have some distance to go. For a few critical safety endpoints of long-term, repeated use like allergy, cancer or safety for the unborn, the currently available alternatives are not sufficient. One reason is the enormous difficulty of trying to mimic the complexity of many different organs, tissues and cells, acting together to trigger an effect in an organism - or no affect at all.  

However, this does not change our commitment to eliminate animal testing for all components of cosmetic and personal care products. We believe that ending animal testing is a benefit for all - consumers, animal welfare and industry - and are committed to the ultimate elimination of all animal testing.

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Working Together

For more than 20 years, we have assigned many of our best scientists, laboratories and significant funding to alternatives development. Given the significant challenges involved, however, we recognize that we will only succeed through the collaborative work that we are doing with our partners around the globe: independent scholars, industry partners, legislators and official authorities for the final validation and government agency acceptance of an alternative method. 

P&G is a member and key contributor to the European Cosmetics Association (COLIPA)'s Steering Committee on Alternatives to Animal Testing (SCAAT). This program funds and coordinates efforts of the cosmetic industry in the development, validation and acceptance of alternatives to animal testing. This also includes independent research groups and academia. Colipa's efforts to replace animal testing are outlined in the brochure "Working Together to Replace Animal Testing."

We also joined forces with the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA). This unique partnership, led by the E.U. Commission, pools knowledge and resources to develop new alternative approaches, and works together to speed up the acceptance of such methods and to exchange best practices between industries.

We do not stop with developing alternatives. P&G's best scientists are also heavily involved in helping to facilitate new alternative method validation acceptance by global government agencies. Only validated methods will ultimately stop all animal tests, including those which must be conducted to meet regulatory obligations. Our scientists also work closely together with the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM), and in the U.S. with the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM).

Such joint efforts have led to the qualification and official validation of the following five non-animal alternative methods, across all cosmetics manufacturers - and other industries. 

Topic  Explanation     Replacement
Skin corrosion Irreversible destruction of skin by a chemical  1  **Trancutaneous Electrical Resistance Assay
 2  Human skin models **EpiskinTM, **EpidermTM, SkinEthnicTM
Phototoxicity Irritation that only occurs when a substance is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light  3  **3T3 Neutral Red Uptake Phototoxicity Test
Percutaneous absorption Absorption of a substance through the skin  4  **in vitro method
Skin irritation Local skin effects (e.g., redness, burning or stinging)  5  Human Skin models EpiskinTM, EpidermTM, SkinEthnicTM

**OECD Guidelines 
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