In October 2020, Ethical Consumer searched L'Oreal's website and found a page called 'Our alternative methods to animal testing'

This page stated: "In 1989, L’Oréal completely ceased testing its products on animals, 14 years before it was required by regulation. Today, L'Oréal no longer tests its ingredients on animals and strictly follows this global policy."

It also stated: "L’Oréal has been one of the most active companies working alongside the Chinese authorities and scientists for over 10 years to have alternative testing methods recognized, and permit the cosmetic regulation to evolve towards a total and definite elimination of animal testing. Thanks to this, since 2014, certain products manufactured and sold in China like shampoo, body wash or certain make-up products are no longer tested on animals."

This indicated that L'Oreal was still selling products in China that were required by law to be tested on animals. As a result L’Oréal received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Animal Testing and lost a whole mark in the category.

Reference: (20 October 2020)

In October 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed the Ask Nestle section of Nestlé's website. It contained the following statement regarding animal testing:

"Nestlé shares people’s concerns about animal testing. We are committed to reducing our use of it to a minimum, and believe it should only take place when absolutely necessary, to meet our ethical and legal obligations.

We have to use animal testing when it is required as part of the regulatory authorization process to commercialize a product, during research and development of novel ingredients, or to show their safety."

Nestlé therefore lost a whole mark under the Animal Testing category.

Reference: (2020)

According to a press release by Cruelty Free International, dated 24/8/2015 and viewed by Ethical Consumer on 25/8/2015, Nestlé was one of three companies accused of cruel animal experimentation, which Cruelty Free International stated was carried out to prove ‘health benefits.’
The experiments, conducted on dogs, mice, hamsters, rats and pigs, attempted to investigate the positive health benefits of the companies’ products and to identify potential benefits that could be marketed.
The tests, which were published in 2014 or 2015, involved force feeding, irradiation, forcing animals to become obese and the surgical implantation of tubes. The animals were often killed at the end of experiments. Cruelty Free International maintained that these harmful and unnecessary experiments were motivated by a desire to be able to make health claims about the utility of certain products in solving health issues such as obesity in humans and our companion animals.
Dr Katy Taylor, Director of Science at Cruelty Free International said:
“The public will be shocked to learn that these well-known and familiar high street brands are involved in sickening experiments on animals. ‘Proving’ that these products help solve artificially induced health problems in animals does not mean that they will have the same effects in humans and could be misleading to consumers. Furthermore, some of these tests were using products that are already on the market. We believe there to be no reason why human volunteers and consumers could not be involved in assessing the health effects of these products in real life situations.”
Examples of the animal experiments carried out for Nestle include:
- To find out if cinnamon can be used to treat obesity in humans, mice were subjected to a series of experiments. First, they were housed on their own in a cage and starved for 23 hours before being force-fed a single dose of cinnamon extract through a tube forced down their throats. In the second experiment, 60 mice were fed a high-fat diet for ten weeks to make them obese followed by a diet containing cinnamon extract for another 36 days. At the end of the experiment, the mice were force-fed glucose before being subjected to repeat blood sampling over a two-hour period. All of the mice were killed and their organs dissected.
- In order to determine the impact of weight loss on obese dogs, 18 overweight Beagles were subjected to a six-month weight loss program. The dogs were fed once a day with Nestlé Purina’s low calorie weight loss diet that was calculated at 25% below their energy needs. The dogs were subjected to glucose injections and regular blood sampling throughout the experiment to study the effect of losing weight on their bodies. There is no mention of what happened to the dogs at the end of the experiment.
Nestlé therefore lost a whole mark under Animal Testing.


Cruelty Free International exposes cruel animal experiments by major food companies to prove ‘health

In October 2020 Ethical Consumer searched Nestle’s website for information about its animal products. In a Raw Materials section the company stated that "meat, poultry and eggs are purchased from suppliers worldwide". Under an 'Ask Nestle' Environment section it had more information.

Its animal welfare commitment subscribed to the ‘Five Freedoms’ as applied to animals: 1. Freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition 2. Freedom from fear and distress 3. Freedom from physical and thermal discomfort 4. Freedom from pain, injury and disease 5. Freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour.

It stated that it aimed to use only cage-free eggs for all its food products globally by 2025. In Europe and the USA, it aimed to make this transition by the end of 2020.

Although a step in the right direction, Nestlé's policy did not explicitly exclude the use of factory farming practices, nor did it exclude the use of zero grazing. Zero grazing is a practice whereby cows are kept indoors and fed with cut grass or total mixed rations (mixture of grains, maize silage and hay).

The company therefore lost a mark under the Factory Farming category and Animal Rights category.

Reference: (2020)

In October 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed the Nestlé webiste, and a Raw Materials section. The company said milk was its biggest raw material by volume.

No policy could be found regarding whether the company used milk from cows which had been grazed on pasture or kept in doors (zero grazing).

Zero Grazing is a practice whereby cows are kept indoors and fed with cut grass or total mixed rations (mixture of grains, maize silage and hay). Due to the fact Nestlé did not have an animal welfare policy which commited its farmers (its own and from those from whom it sourced its milk) to ensure cows had access to pasture during the grass growing season (minimum 100 days) it lost a whole mark under Ethical Consumer's Factory Farming category and a whole mark under Animal Rights.

Reference: (2020)

According to the Asda website viewed by Ethical Consumer in October 2020, Tivall meat free products contained eggs that were not labelled as free range. The company therefore lost a whole mark in the Animal Rights and Factory Farming categories.

Reference: (2 December 2019)