International Vegan News

The power of peanuts

Posted on 9 September 2016

Peanuts are considered a popular staple snack items. Whether you enjoy them raw, or on fresh bread, peanuts have more to offer than just a delicious taste.

While high in calories, raw peanuts are best known for their heart benefits due to their high levels of monounsaturated fats. Some studies have shown that diets high in monounsaturated fats decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseaseOpens in a new window by as much as 21%.

The power of peanut butterPeanuts have also been found to contain as many antioxidants as some fruits, as well as oleic acid and polyphenols. Other benefits offered by peanuts include reduced risk for cancer, gallstone prevention, decreased risk for alzheimer’s disease, lower weight gain risk, and cholesterol reduction.

For those that choose to consume peanuts in the form of irresistible peanut butter, there are a few things to watch out for. Companies like Jif and Skippy fill the peanut butter with added fats and preservatives. Consuming products that have loads of additives and preservatives can become detrimental to one’s health. For that reason, many peanut butter lovers have steered towards using more healthy and organic forms of peanut butters.

Making your own peanut butter at home is as easy as having some dry roasted peanuts on hand as well as a food processor. While it may take a few tries to get the exact variety of peanut butter you like, you can customize your own recipe with the addition of honey, cane sugar, and/or salt and know your freshly made peanut butter is preservative free.

If you’re not quite the DIY type, many companies have already done the job for you with a wide variety of nut butters ready to purchase at your local grocery store or online. Many of these organic and natural products contain up to 85% less fat than your standard off-the-shelf peanut butters.

You can also try protein peanut butter or whey peanut butter if you’re looking for a bit of a fitness boost in your savory spread. Peanut butter is an excellent source of proteinOpens in a new window for your muscle building goals and also a very affordable option.

The leader in the natural nut butters field in the USA is without a doubt Nuts ‘n More. Their appearance on the hit TV show Shark TankOpens in a new window opened America’s eyes to the many benefits of all natural and all organic peanut butters. In addition to a wide variety of peanut butters, they also offer almond butter which is packed with whey proteins as well as flax. For those looking for something a little sweeter, they also have a cookie butter spread, still packed with proteins as are all their nut spreads. Nuts ‘N more offers so many different flavors there is a healthy, natural option for even the pickiest of eaters.

Final Thought

Before you purchase your next jar of peanut butter, take a moment to remember what you gain (proteins, longer lasting, more natural taste) and what you lose (extra fats, added calories, and preservatives) when choosing a peanut butter. Remember, not only do natural nut spreads taste better, they’ll leave you and your body feeling great as well!.


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New website: Vegan Food Is Everywhere

Posted on 27 July 2013

Here is a new vegan website initiative from a husband/wife team who are are long time animal rights activists and vegans living in Toronto, Canada. They created a website for vegans and the vegan-curious that might be useful to vegans when travelling.

It’s (probably) the world’s first vegan food spotting website. Their goal is to put every vegan dish, at every restaurant in the world, on the Google map. Over 2,000 vegan dishes have been mapped so far, including some in Canada, United States, Australia, Scotland, China, France, Singapore, England, Norway, and India. New dishes are being added by the community every day, and they are building new features for the website.

Take a look at Vegan Food Is Everywhere. This can grow into an amazing tool for vegans everywhere, but they need help adding dishes (especially in Africa and South Africa!) and spreading the word! Together, we can debunk the myth that it’s difficult to dine out as a vegan.


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Big cosmetic brands taken off PETA’s white list

Posted on 21 February 2012

Avon, Estée Lauder, and Mary Kay have been removed from PeTA’s ‘Companies That Don’t Test on Animals’ list.

According to PeTA’s website, these companies have resumed paying for tests on animals … without letting consumers know. After confirming with each company, PETA has downgraded the companies to our “do test” list. All 3 companies claim it is because of requirements of the Chinese government in order to market products in that country.

However, for each test required by the Chinese government, superior non-animal methods are available. Mary Kay has taken steps to work with Chinese officials on the acceptance of these non-animal tests, but Avon and Estée Lauder seem to have agreed to the tests without any objection.

Visit Vegan SA for cruelty-free personal care products available in South Africa.


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Avon forced to retract false cruelty-free claims

Posted on 4 February 2012

Another Uncaged complaint has forced global cosmetics firm Avon to withdraw false claims that they don’t test on animals. Uncaged had written to the Advertising Standards Authority in protest at a deceptive statement on Avon’s UK website that told consumers: “Avon does not test products or ingredients on animals, nor do we request others to do so on our behalf.”

Uncaged, one of the UK’s leading experts on animal experimentation, informed the ASA that this statement was untrue. On the contrary, Avon themselves have admitted in correspondence and on their global website
that they carry out toxicity testing on animals.

Avon explain that their refusal to stop animal testing is due to their desire to be able to incorporate new chemicals into their products, as they believe innovation will maximise their profits.

Uncaged’s victory for truth and decency follows their similar successful complaint against Procter & Gamble last year over deceptive claims regarding their Herbal Essences brand. Uncaged point out that misleading animal testing claims are endemic in the multi-national consumer goods industry, and are calling upon the government to take action to defend consumers and tackle unnecessary cruelty to animals.

Dr Dan Lyons, Uncaged’s Campaigns Director comments: “Sadly, these large animal testing companies appear to have a policy of systematically misleading consumers rather than responding to their overwhelming opposition to gratuitous cruelty to animals. Given that a large majority of people are opposed to these tests, we believe that we are witnessing a multimillion pound fraud as consumers purchase products on the basis of deceptive claims about their provenance.”

“Furthermore, lobbying by the cosmetics industry appears to have forced the EU to break a popular promise to ban animal-tested cosmetics from the European market. Therefore, the need for honest and accurate information to allow consumers to make informed decisions has never been greater.”

Avon are not endorsed by Leaping Bunny, Beauty Without Cruelty or PeTA.

Visit VeganSA for more vegan cruelty-free products.


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Vegetarian butchers make a killing

Posted on 20 September 2011

Fake meat chicken, fake meat gyros and fake meat sausages – all this and
much more is available from the Vegetarian ButcherOpens in a new window. The chain is the first of its kind in the world. Not only do the foods on sale look exactly like their real meat counterparts, but according to many a meat eater, they taste very similar as well.

Eating meat is on the decline in the Netherlands. These days some 75% of people no longer eat meat on a daily basis. Animal welfare, scary infections in cattle and the presence of antibiotics in chicken meat may be
the reasons for people to cut down on eating meat. That’s probably why Vegetarian Butcher shops are mushrooming. The chain is the first of its kind in the world.

Can’t believe it’s not chicken

“In fact Ferran Adria, aka the best chef in the world, wouldn’t believe it wasn’t chicken he was tasting after being presented with our chicken substitute made from vegetable matter”, says Niko Koffeman, one of the
founders of the Vegetarian Butcher chain.

The first Vegetarian Butcher shop opened its doors in October 2010, in The Hague. Now, less than a year later, there are 30, spread all over the country. The display counter of these shops is a visual challenge because the fake meat products look so much like the real thing that just a glance at it makes many a carnivorous stomach grumble.

Sustainability

80% of the shops’ clientele are hard core vegetarians and vegans, says Koffeman, yet specific target group is people that want to either cut down on meat consumption or to stop eating it completely.

“Animal cruelty is one reason, but also a growing concern for sustainability”, says Koffeman. “After all meat production is highly inefficient. When you start food production with, say, soy or lupin beans and you feed them to animals – as happens with 50% of the worlds’ wheat harvests – 90% gets transformed into manure and body heat. Only 10% of useful proteins are generated.

We say let’s directly make use of these useful proteins for human consumption. Especially since we can
create a product that has the exact same look, taste and bite as the similar meat product. Taking the animal out of the process will provide us with a surplus of vegetable products so large we could nourish more than 5 times the world population.”

No compromise on flavour

Back to the Vegetarian Butcher. The products in the display case are either vegetarian or pure vegan. Koffeman is especially proud of the very popular meatball sandwich – broodje bal is the number one snack food for many people in The Hague. “People love it, but I have to admit, it’s not a 100% vegetable product. We need to add egg to give it just the right flavour. As long as there’s no meat involved we don’t want to compromise on flavour. Some products just taste better when you add some cream or eggs to them.”

Eating fake meat is not necessarily cheap. Fake chicken meat for instance at &eur;15 a kilo is a bit more expensive than the real thing sold at a quality butcher shop. But according to Koffeman, that will change soon enough. “As production goes up, the price will come down substantially.”

By Michel Walraven

Original article appeared on: Radio Netherlands WorldwideOpens in a new window


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UK to end household product testing on animals

Posted on 29 July 2011

“British Home Office minister Lynne Featherstone has voiced the opinion that inflicting pain and suffering on animals to manufacture household products such as washing up liquid, furniture polish, air freshener and bleach etc is unacceptable and could soon be banned in the UK.

The Government has taken a first step towards ending the practice which will ultimately make household products subject to the same rules as cosmetics. The testing of cosmetics or their ingredients on animals has been illegal in Britain since 2008. In future, a condition added to the 1986 Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act will stop animal testing licences being granted for experiments involving household products, which involve giving animals toxic doses of chemicals or rubbing irritants into their skin. The effects can include vomiting, seizures, internal bleeding and organ damage, following which the animals are killed.”

Source: Beauty Without Cruelty SAOpens in a new window


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UK to ban circus animals

Posted on 24 June 2011

“Yesterday was a truly historic moment for animals … yesterday saw Parliament finally pledge to ban the use of wild animals in circuses once and for all.

All over the media – including the BBC, Guardian, Independent, Channel 4, Daily Mail, and Sky News – the public are celebrating the beginning of the end of a disgraceful practice that has outraged millions since Animal Defenders International (ADI) exposed the horrific abuse of animals in 1992 and at Chipperfield’s circus in 1998.

Over 10 years later, and following more groundbreaking ADI investigations into UK circuses – including the tragic footage of Anne the elephant being savagely beaten this year – politicians have decided enough is enough and they have forced the government to take action.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of our supporters, we can now look forward to a future where there are no longer wild animals languishing in UK circuses.

Now we must ensure that this pledge is turned into a reality. We must make sure that every wild animal currently suffering in UK circuses has freedom in their sights.

The Coalition Government now has to listen to the will of Members of Parliament and propose legislation for a ban. This legislation will still have some hurdles to jump through the process, and we have to be there to make it happen.”

Source: Jan Creamer, ADI Chief Executive


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Netherlands to pass law ending religious slaughter of animals

Posted on 22 June 2011

“The Dutch parliament is on the point of passing a law that would end the slaughter of animals by ritual religious methods before they had been stunned or anaesthetised.

Both Jewish and Muslim proponents of halal and kosher meat say that religious rules do not permit the animals to be unconscious when they are killed.

The proposal originated with the Netherlands’ Party for the Animals, whose 2 seats in parliament make it the world’s only animal rights party with representatives in a national legislature. Marianne Thieme, its charismatic young leader, says religious leaders who object to the law are trying to hold back history.

“Here in our society we no longer accept that animals must suffer,” says Ms Thieme. Religious groups have often opposed progressive social change, she adds. “We saw the same thing with women’s rights.”

For some, the argument is a scientific one. Many veterinarians believe animals suffer more during unstunned slaughter and remain conscious for up to a few minutes longer while dying. Ms Thieme says religious-liberty rights do not extend to harming other people or animals. Most in parliament back that view. A government-commissioned report by the University of Wageningen cited the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe and humane-slaughter expert Temple Grandin in support of the ban.

The fury of the religious lobby is acknowledged by Marianne Thieme. She said: “I understand that the emotions run high,” says Ms Thieme, “because you think that your religious community has been doing things the best possible way for thousands of years, and it’s painful to be confronted with scientific facts that show otherwise.”

Source: National Secular Society

“religious-liberty rights do not extend to harming other people or animals” – I wish the same could be said about ritual slaughter laws in South Africa …


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First Vegan Restaurant Opens in Russia

Posted on 29 April 2011

It appears that veganism and the demand for vegan food food is spreading further and wide …

The 7th of April 2011 saw the opening of Russia’s first vegan restaurant – the Moscow branch of international franchise ‘Loving Hut’.

The animal rights movement is accelerating by the day in Russia. However despite its growing popularity, Russian vegetarians still have great difficulty in finding the vegetarian food and most cook for themselves (sounds familiar?). The first vegetarian restaurant opened in Moscow in 2001 and there are also several vegetarian cafes.

Vegetarian and vegan products in stores are also difficult to find as ready-made vegetarian dishes, tofu, soya products and such like are still quite uncommon, even in Moscow.


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Sodexo rolls out meat free Mondays to 10 million customers daily in USA

Posted on 27 February 2011

It’s a little hard to believe. Just 2 years ago there was a single blogger talking about the merits of Meatless Monday, the incomparable Kim O’Donnel. And this month, Sodexo, the world’s premier food services provider – serving 10 million customers daily – rolls out Meatless Monday across the nation.

For the Meatless MondayOpens in a new window movement, this is a big deal. Sodexo will now add and promote plant-based entrees at its 900+ hospital accounts. Its nearly 2,000 corporate clients and 175 government sites will follow. And then in the fall, Sodexo’s 650 college campuses, nearly 500 school districts and 150 private schools will implement Meatless Monday.

“This fits in so well with our Better Tomorrow Plan, which is all about promoting health and wellness, protecting and restoring the environment, and supporting local community development,” says Nitu Gupta, vice president of brand management for Sodexo health care. “Meatless Monday is a simple thing we can all do in the face of multiple challenges. Little changes in our behavior can have a profound effect.”

It’s this idea of gradual change for personal health that’s being picked up by another national institution, Walmart. Our largest grocer recently announced it will cut sodium by a quarter, reduce sugar from some of its private label products, and decrease the price of its fruits and vegetables.

“It’s easy for health advocates to call for change,” says Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of Meatless Monday, “but it’s a lot more meaningful when the Sodexo’s and Walmart’s of the world do so – when there’s real business on the line.”

Sodexo intends to keep its Meatless Monday program fresh by sending out new tool kits to its client reps every 4 months. These will include newly created recipes, promo materials and educational background. It also hopes to launch other fitness and health programs created by The Monday Campaigns.

Whether it’s about encouraging health and wellness, or simply selling products according to USA Today’s top marketing trends for 2011, Meatless Monday is on the cusp of an extraordinary year of growth. It’s thanks to institutions both big and small that people around the country are adopting this simple message of moderation and choice for their health and the health of the planet.

Original article by Chris Elam in the Huffington PostOpens in a new window.

Join our own South African Meat Free MondaysOpens in a new window campaign.


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Lipton and PG Tips end animal tests

Posted on 1 February 2011

It seems to have been only the other week when we reported that Unilever were using animals in experiments for their tea brands Lipton and PG Tips, which made these products not suitable for vegans.

Well today, we bring you some great news! – according to PeTA, Unilever have stated on their website that “Unilever is committing to no animal testing for our tea and tea-based beverages, with immediate effect”.

So Lipton and PG Tips are now suitable for vegans, as seems to be the natural status for tea drinks.

PeTA also claim that over 40,000 supporters joined in their call to action and emailed Unilever to complain about their tests and ask them to stop. It appears that this great collective effort has had the desired effect, so a big “well done” to all those that joined in and made Unilever aware of your concerns. It’s very satisfying to know that our efforts are not wasted and that we can effect positive changes from petitions and email campaigns.

Thanks also to PeTA for instigating the action and bringing us this news.


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EC pledge on battery cage ban

Posted on 22 January 2011

The European Commission has said it intends sticking to its promise to ban battery cages for egg production from the end of this year (2011).

The assurance has been given to MEP Alyn Smith by Bernard van Goethem, the acting director-general of the commission’s health and consumer affairs directorate. Mr Smith said the pledge was welcome, but expressed fears several member states will flout the embargo and continue to produce eggs from the start of 2012 in a system which by then will be deemed illegal as well as cruel.

If these eggs are allowed to be traded around the EU, then it would undermine producers, including those in Scotland, who have replaced their battery systems with the larger enriched cages demanded by the legislation which entered the statute books in 1999, or who have switched to barn or free-range.

Mr Smith said the fear remained that some EU states will seek exemptions from the rules, although several previous bids to the European Agriculture Council to delay the legislation have failed. He added: “My concern remains what will happen to those eggs that are produced illegally after 1st January 2012. With figures stating that as much as 29% of EU egg and poultry meat production could become illegal if the standards set down in the 1999 regulation are not met, we cannot consider trashing so much food.”

The commission has said it is exploring possible options to deal with this scenario, but the European Parliament has told it the EU-wide trading of these eggs would be wrong. It has asked countries are given the legal powers to ban imports from other member states flouting the rules.

A meeting on Wednesday in Brussels will discuss what happens to eggs produced from battery systems after they are supposedly outlawed. Mr Smith said he would be interested to see the possible solutions, but added he would continue the fight to see Scottish egg producers and high welfare standards protected. The parliament has made its opinion clear in a resolution backed by 459 MEPs which says the commission must stick by the ban and oppose any attempt to grant concessions.

MEP George Lyon said it remained scandalous that 83 million eggs, nearly a third of EU production, are still likely to be produced from battery cages from the start of next year. He added: “European producers have had 10 years to make the transition to the new standards, but it is quite clear that many countries are simply ignoring the deadline.” He said with Scottish producers having invested millions of pounds to upgrade their systems, the commission needed to take tough and robust action against any nation flouting the ban. That should include naming and shaming those who are not compliant by the deadline and taking legal action against them.

NFU Scotland communications director Bob Carruth said it was clear several European states were dragging their heels. He welcomed the parliament’s intervention and its tough demands on the commission. He too urged the commission to make sure those producers who comply with the law change are not undermined by those farms who continue to use battery cages. He also urged the commission to allow trade bans to be imposed on eggs from illegal production systems.

By Joe Watson, published: 15 Jan 2011, http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/2085604?UserKey= (Original article since removed).


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World Day for the Abolition of Meat

Posted on 19 January 2011

The next World Day for the Abolition of Meat will be held on 30th January 2010 (the World Week for Abolition of Meat from 24th to 30th January 2011).

This day is intended as a means of promoting the abolishment of using animals for food. Excluding marine life, 6 million animals around the world are killed for meat every hour! Meat consumption causes more misery, suffering and death than any other human activity and yet is completely unnecessary.

On 30 January, many groups worldwide will mobilise to promote the abolition of meat and other animal products, advocating vegetarianism and veganism. They will call for society to abandon the practice of killing animals for food. Conferences will be held, street actions, leafleting and information stands will be organised to spread the belief that the consumption of meat cannot be ethically justified and must be abolished.

Please join in with the activities.

One long term goal of this initiative is to strengthen the animal rights movement over the coming years. It is important to address people not only as consumers but also to question them as members of society as a whole about the murder of animals for food so that society can no longer avoid a public debate on the legitimacy of this practice.

For more information on the initiative: World Day for the Abolition of MeatOpens in a new window


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EU drops proposals to introduce mandatory labelling of ritually slaughtered meat

Posted on 18 December 2010

European Ministers have dropped plans to ensure that halal and kosher meat from animals slaughtered without pre-stunning is accurately labelled.

Earlier this year MEPs voted in favour of German MEP Renate Sommer’s proposed amendment to draft legislation on food labelling which would mean that meat and meat products from ritually slaughtered animals must carry the label “Meat from slaughter without stunning”.

However, the European Council of Ministers approved a draft of new food information regulation this week that did not include amendment 205. The agreement reached falls short of demands made by MEPs when they agreed their position on the directive in June. Renate Sommer said that she was “disappointed” by the agreement, calling it a “sloppy draft” that neglected important details.

The latest move to drop the proposal follows a Europe-wide lobbying campaign by the Jewish food lobby group Shechita UK, which has targeted European Ministers representing their various governments at the Council of Ministers. Electrical pre-stunning is not allowed under strict Jewish traditions, whereas the practice is acceptable to many British Muslims; a significant proportion of UK Halal meat has been pre-stunned. Shechita UK has argued that unless meat from religiously slaughtered animals is allowed to slip into the general market covertly, this meat will become commercially unviable.

The National Secular Society (NSS) questioned the legitimacy of the UK Government supporting such a stance in a letter to Jim Paice MP, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food. The NSS has been pressing the government to support the amendment, arguing that where religious exemptions have been made to animal welfare regulations, no more animals should be slaughtered under the exemptions than is necessary for the religious market. Furthermore, consumers are entitled to be informed if meat is from an animal slaughtered without stunning. The current absence of labelling deprives consumers of basic information and consequently artificially fuels the demand for meat from slaughter without stunning.

Stephen Evans, NSS Campaigns Officer, said: “Keeping the public in ignorance so that they carry on subsidising a slaughter method which they do not approve of is simply indefensible. While we’re naturally disappointed that this amendment has fallen, this is far from the end of the campaign to ensure meat from religiously slaughtered animals is labelled. We are anticipating European Commission proposals on welfare labelling in 2011 and we will be ensuring that the Government is well aware of our views – which we believe are supported by the overwhelming majority of the British public.”

Next year, the Government will also be consulting on the implementation of regulations on the protection of animals at the time of killing, which will provide a further opportunity to question the exemptions from animal welfare legislation afforded to religious groups.

Article by the UK’s National Secular SocietyOpens in a new window


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EU cosmetics firms back plan to stop animal tests

Posted on 8 December 2010

Major drug and cosmetics companies have backed a plan to eliminate animal testing in favour of more humane approaches.

Experts from companies including drug giants AstraZeneca, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and cosmetics firm L’Oreal endorsed a Europe-wide initiative described as a road-map towards ending the use of animals in research and safety testing.

In a report to be published this week, they will say the future of safety testing of new drugs and chemical products lies in new technologies that use cell cultures and computer models rather than living animals.

Opponents of vivisection have long argued that animals are poor models for testing drugs and products that will be used by humans as their biology is often different.

Scientists insist animals provide an important step to ensure the safety and efficacy of new drugs before they are given to humans for the first time.

The report, which is to be published by a panel of experts from industry, academic institutions and regulatory bodies, provides backing for an initiative aimed at finding alternatives to animal research called AXLR8.

In the report, the panel states: “Today we are at a new biological milestone, where we could – with sufficient international and political support … produce the means and the technology to test and assess the human and environmental risk of tens of thousands of chemicals per year without using animals.”

The report puts the case for a range of new technology and approaches that provide alternatives to using animals.

Other methods include the use of embryonic stem cells to create heart tissue that can be used for drug testing, robotic screening of drugs and computer programs that can predict the effect of a drug in the body.

More than 3.6 million tests were carried out on animals in Britain last year and there has been growing concern from within the scientific community at the number of animal research studies that are never published due to unimportant results or poor experimental design.

The report states testing a single chemical takes up to 5 years, involves 800 rodents and costs £2.5 million while robotic alternatives could test 350 chemicals in under a week and for a fraction of the cost.

Troy Seidle, director of research for Humane Society International and associate coordinator of the AXLR8 initiative, said: “Endorsement from cross-sector, independent experts provides a tremendous boost to EU and international efforts to revolutionise the science of safety testing.

“This is the first step towards a road map that will see the phasing out the use of animals in safety testing.

“The fact that industry is prepared to come to the table to meet with regulators and say they are prepared to do development, invest resources and change the way we do things shows this is a real possibility that is not just pie in the sky.

“The change won’t happen instantly but this is a good first step.”

The AXLR8 initiative is funded by the European Commission to identify areas of research and monitor progress to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in toxicology testing.

Over the past 20 years, the European Commission has invested around Euro 150 million trying to achieve this.

L’Oreal is already using Episkin, cultures of human skin grown from stem cells that can be used for product testing and toxicology tests.

A spokesman for Procter & Gamble said reducing animal testing in product safety research was a central goal for the company.

She said: “At P&G we are pleased to state that we are at the forefront in efforts to eliminate animal testing in product safety research. We complete more than 99 per cent of all safety evaluations without testing on animals.”

By Richard Gray, Science Correspondent, 27 Nov 2010

The TelegraphOpens in a new window


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