The 'Cruelty-Free' Part Of Your Cosmetics Is MeaninglessMargaret Hartmann12/29/11 11:30amFiled to: Beauty mythsanimal testingCruelty FreeCosmeticsBeautyshutterstockTopFb2132EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkFor years activists have been campaigning to put an end to testing cosmetics and personal products on animals, yet a large number of companies are still using critters like rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats to determine if products are safe for humans. Surprise: Despite raised awareness of the issue, getting gazillion-dollar companies to change their tune is a bit difficult — particularly considering they have no legal reason to do so. Companies like Aveda, Kiss My Face, Clinique, and Almay have stopped testing on animals or never started, but PETA's list of companies that aren't "cruelty-free" is still long and varied. The list includes brands like Always, Band-Aid, Febreze, and K.Y., so even if you try to buy cosmetics from animal-friendly brands, there's still a good chance that other products you use are tested on animals. Plus, much like how the government doesn't closely regulate use of the word "organic," the New York Times reports that "cruelty-free" doesn't really mean anything. Vicki Katrinak, the administrator for the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics, tells the paper, "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." Often companies will write on packaging that their product is "not tested on animals," but may only refer to the item itself, not its ingredients. Both PETA and the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics have tried to make labels actually reflect how the product was produced by licensing bunny logos to indicate that the company has been certified "cruelty-free" by the organiation.