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Digital Subscriptions > Vegan Food & Living Magazine > Sep 2019 - Vegan Street Food > What does ‘cruelty-free’ really mean?

What does ‘cruelty-free’ really mean?

Sascha Camilli uncovers how to guarantee your beauty products are cruelt y-free

The term ‘cruelty-free’ is meant to mark a product that hasn’t been or doesn’t contain ingredients that have been tested on animals. Unfortunately, animal testing is still widely used in the world and, in some countries like China, it’s mandatory by law. In 2013, a ban came into place in Europe meaning that no cosmetics or ingredients could be tested on animals. This landmark ban was an incredible statement by the European Union, making it clear that testing on animals and making money from it is unacceptable. India and Israel followed soon after with bans of their own. In Australia, a ban has been proposed for several years – prompting celebration from animal rights activists – but at the time of writing, the ban is delayed and has yet to come into effect. Cosmetics companies are currently not testing on animals in Australia, but some conduct their animal research elsewhere in the world, for the products to then be sold on the Australian market. A bill to ban animal testing for cosmetics was introduced in the US, but has not yet passed at the time of writing.

But – and it’s an important ‘but’ – there are loopholes in the incredibly complicated EU law. Contrary to what you might immediately conclude, the ban does not mean it’s now OK to gallop off to the beauty counter and go straight for the mainstream brand you know and love. The ban forbids companies from testing products and ingredients in the EU and selling animal-tested products and ingredients in the EU. It also forbids companies from testing products and ingredients on animals elsewhere and selling these in the EU. What it doesn’t keep companies from doing is testing on animals outside the EU and selling them out of the EU. This makes it possible for companies to profit from testing on animals, as long as they do not do it within the EU.

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About Vegan Food & Living Magazine

The rise in street food in the UK has been a revelation for us all, exposing us to new flavours and dishes from around the globe and thankfully there are some incredible vegan options. In the September issue of Vegan Food & Living we help you to cook up some of the best, including Gaz Oakley's 15-minute nasi goreng, which will quickly become a go-to favourite! Also this issue, we experiment with dishes from Italy and the Caribbean, whip up a selection of dishes that are ready in 30 minutes and cheaper than a takeaway, and sneak our favourite vegetables into some tasty bakes. We have part 1 of a new series starting in this issue too, called Women on the front-line of animal advocacy. This month we meet 3 inspirational characters who founded animal sanctuaries. If that's not enough, we reveal all about cruelty-free beauty, find the best eco-cities to live in around the world and find out why you need fibre in your diet and how to get enough of it.