Despite longstanding claims that cosmetics retailer The Body Shop uses no animal testing on its products, a consumer advocacy group has found that the company is selling its products in Chinese airports, where according to The Guardian, random products from duty-free shops are used in animal testing after they hit the shelves.
China is the only country that still requires mandatory animal testing for cosmetics (though the country announced that it would begin phasing out this regulation starting in June of 2014), which is why many companies choose not to sell their products there. Despite this, it's a common practice for officials to sweep the shelves of duty-free products at airports to and test them on animals -- meaning that The Body Shop's products could foreseeably be tested on animals in China.
According to an investigation by the consumer watchdog group Choice,for the past year Body Shop products have been on sale in at least two Chinese airports, though The Body Shop says on its website that it does not operate in mainland China. "It's a standard part of the Chinese cosmetic regulation process," Choice's chief executive, Alan Kirkland, told Guardian Australia. "Chinese officials have said to us there is no way that a product sold in airports could be guaranteed to be exempt from that. There is no way they can guarantee those products are not tested on animals."
Kirkland said that this is particularly egregious, because The Body Shop has been so vocal about its stance against animal testing.
"This is the central claim on which the whole Body Shop brand has been built over time," he said. "‘Against animal testing' was their tagline for many years, and it still is a central selling point for consumers. We just think you can't have it both ways. You can't be against animal testing and sell in China at the same time."
You can sign a petition here asking The Body Shop's CEO Jeremy Shwartz to stop selling products in China.