Unilever, the owner of over 400 brands, including Murad and Dermalogica, has joined forces with Humane Society International (HSI) to support the call for a global ban on animal testing for cosmetics.

Unilever’s chief research and development officer David Blanchard said the company will support HSI’s global #BeCrueltyFree initiative, which is leading legislative reform in key beauty markets to stop cosmetic animal testing and trade.

“Animal testing for cosmetics has been banned in the EU since 2013, and we hope that an adoption of similar bans in other countries will accelerate the regulatory acceptance of alternative approaches and thereby remove any requirements for any animal testing for cosmetics anywhere in the world,” he said.

The organisations are also planning to “develop capability across companies and regulatory authorities so safety decisions for cosmetics are based on non-animal approaches” and to “invest in the training of future safety scientists in non-animal ‘next generation’ risk assessments”.

Unilever’s ongoing work on alternatives to animal testing and its commitment to promoting their adoption worldwide has also recently been officially recognised by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

The organisation has just listed Unilever as a ‘company working for regulatory change’, which indicates that Unilever conducts no tests on animals unless specifically required by law for any of its brands or products.

According to Blanchard, Unilever has over 30 years’ experience in developing non-animal approaches for assuring product safety, collaborating with more than 50 key partners across the world, including governments and NGOs.

“Unilever openly shares its scientific expertise and approaches with all interested stakeholders,” he said.

“To facilitate the adoption of a global animal testing ban for cosmetics, Unilever has offered to collaborate with an even broader range of stakeholders on a global scale to share its safety assessment approaches.

“We’re very hopeful that through collaboration – amongst companies, NGOs and Governments – it will soon be possible to assess the safety of all cosmetics products without any need for animal testing anywhere in the world.”