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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Is buying cosmetics and personal care products from companies that don’t test on animals important to you?

Two new surveys found a majority of Americans say “yes.”

In fact, many who oppose animal testing often look for labels that show the product is “cruelty free.”

But as 3 On Your Side consumer reporter Jim Donovan found, the labels may not mean what you think.

That’s because believe it or not, the government doesn’t regulate the use of terms like “cruelty free” or “not tested on animals.”

When you see make-up, lotions and other personal care items that say “cruelty free” and “not tested on animals,” many people believe that means the product wasn’t tested on animals at all. But Vicki Katrinak, with the Coalition for Consumer Information, says that’s not always the case.

“It could still be tested on animals; the component ingredients could definitely be tested on animals,” said Katrinak.

That’s because the government doesn’t monitor those claims.

“The Food and Drug Administration says they will not and do not regulate those terms. Therefore, companies have free will to say whatever they want, make their own ‘no animal’ testing claims, and have no data to back it up,” said Katrinak.

So how do you know if a product is really cruelty free?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics both have lists of companies they say don’t test on animals.

And both organizations license their own bunny logos, which consumers can look for on products in the store to help avoid cosmetic claim confusion.

For more information, click these links:



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