According to a recent New York Times article, the term “cruelty-free” doesn’t really mean anything. Apparentlycompanies will write on packaging that their product is “not tested on animals,” but may only refer to the item itself, not its ingredients. That seems like a pretty big loop hole to us.
Just like the term “organic,” companies will promote products with terms like “cruelty-free” because they are loosely moderatedby the FDA.
Vicki Katrinak, the administrator for the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics, told the New York Times, “The F.D.A. says on its web site that companies can make any claim about their animal testing policies because there is no regulated definition of what is cruelty-free.”
Apparently both PETA and the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics have attempted to make labels that actually reflect how the product was produced by licensing bunny logos to indicate that the company has been certified “cruelty-free” by the organizations.
In the meantime, if animal rights is something you are passionate about you should pay close attention to the labels on all of your products and take the term “cruelty-free” with a grain of salt.