L"Oreal donates $1.2million to help abolish animal testing but welfare groups say the company should stop the practice NOW

L'Oreal donates $1.2million to help abolish animal testing but welfare groups say the company should stop the practice NOW

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UPDATED:

21:05 GMT, 15 March 2012

L'Oreal has taken a step further to stopping the testing of their beauty and fragrance products on live animals.

The company has donated $1.2million to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help improve the testing of safe chemicals.

The move will lessen the amount of experiments that need to be done on animals – potentially even making the emotive practice obsolete.

Cruelty-free: Cosmetic giant L'Oreal has donated $1.2million to a program that will investigate the health risks of chemicals without using animal testing

Cruelty-free: Cosmetic giant L'Oreal has donated $1.2million to an EPA program that will investigate the safety of chemicals without the need for animal testing

Chemical testing is more expensive than experiments on animals, which is why only a handful of cosmetic companies go completely 'cruelty-free'.

And, as a result, there are potentially many chemicals on the market not being used that may already be completely safe, EPA official David Dix told NY Daily News.

'Because of the high costs and length of time it takes for animal testing, not all the chemicals in use have been thoroughly evaluated for potential toxicity,' he said.

The money will be used to fund EPA testing of a system called ToxCast, which according to the EPA is the most up-to-date method.

Ethical company: L'Oreal are one of the biggest beauty companies in the world and have repeatedly come under fire for their use of animal testing

Because they're worth it: L'Oreal have repeatedly come under fire for their use of animal testing by animal welfare protection groups

'Toxcast uses advanced science tools to help understand how human body processes are impacted by exposures to chemicals and helps determine which exposures are most likely to lead to adverse health effects,' says the agency's website.

However, when Patricia Peneau, scientific communications director for L'Oreal, made the announcement in San Francisco this week, there was mixed reaction from the audience.

Award: Today L'Oreal was nominated as one of the most ethical cosmetic companies

Award: Today L'Oreal was named as one of the most ethical cosmetic companies in the world by a think tank

While the move was largely welcomed, some animal rights groups believed that the company could already be doing more to immediately stop testing their products on animals.

'Animals' lives are worth more than hair color and another shade of lipstick,' said Jessica Sandler, director of the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

'There's hundreds of companies that have managed to market their products without animal testing (and) their products are safer' because of it, she added as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle.

However, it was also announced today that L'Oreal has been named by a leading think tank as one of the world's most ethical cosmetic companies.

It's the third time the cosmetics giant has recognised by the Ethisphere Institute, which investigates at the working practices of an organisation as a whole – not just the production methods of their products.

Colgate Palmolive, Koa, Henkel and Kimberley Clark were also on the list.