Mah on Cruelty Free Cosmetics

November 26th, 2011 by Sophy

“ I wholeheartedly welcome the recent EU ban on animal testing on cosmetics and hope that the rest of the world follows. We at Saaf, are very proud to display the ‘leaping bunny’ logo on all of our our packaging and signing up to HCS”

The BUAV is the UK’s leading organisation peacefully campaigning to end cosmetics testing on animals across the world. Working with corporate partners, international governments and regulators worldwide, the BUAV uses scientific and legislative expertise to create change. The BUAV operates the Humane Cosmetics Standard (HCS), symbolised by the globally recognised ‘Rabbit and Stars’ (‘Leaping Bunny’) Logo. Companies sign up to the HCS to demonstrate that animal testing has been removed from their supply chain for cosmetic products and ingredients.

“With my background strongly rooted in science and pharmacology it took me years to realise that testing cosmetic ingredients on animals is not only cruel, but also obsolete and archaic. With recent developments in computer modelling, human cell lines and other non-animal alternatives developed by scientist worldwide, it also makes little commercial sense to use animal for testing cosmetics when the alternative tests can be far cheaper”.

In the EU, animal testing for cosmetics is not required by law and animal testing of both cosmetics ingredients and finished products is banned (in the UK) since 1997. A finished products ban has been in place in the EU since 11 September 2004. Ingredients, however, can continue to
be animal-tested in the EU until 11 Mar 2009. However, if a validated non-animal alternative testing method exists, the animal equivalent cannot be used. The problem is that the finished product ban does not prevent the sale of products animal-tested in the EU prior to 11September 2004. Neither does the ingredients ban prevent the use of ingredients animal-tested in the EU before an alternative was validated; and the ban does not apply where the animal-testing was carried out outside the EU. Meaning that it is inevitable that most cosmetic brands contain animal-tested ingredients and even where non-animal testing claims are made, unless a company signs up to the HCS and adopts and rigorously polices a ‘fixed cut-off date’ (FCOD) it is impossible to tell whether a claim carries much meaning.

Dr Mah’s passion in cruelty free cosmetics is part of her bigger vision of spreading the eco-ethical business model (and green beauty products) to the world. “I am doing this by drawing parallels between green policies in the West and Halal principles, as laid out in the Quran fourteen hundred years ago. My message seems to be receiving much global interest and I speak frequently on the topic of ‘Halal, the new eco-ethical model’. The principles of Halal, as originally laid out in the Quran, include Corporate Social Responsibility, recycling, not harming the human body, caring for the environment and not being cruel to animals. These are ethics that I believe can benefit all consumers and lead the industry in the right direction”.

Islam is a deeply compassionate religion, especially regarding animal welfare. In God’s eyes, animals are equal to humans, and “He communicates with them exactly as He does with humans”.
Numerous verses in the Holy Koran refer to the sanctity of animal life and the equal rights of an animal to have a peaceful life

“All creatures are like a family (Ayal) of God: and He loves the most those who are the most beneficent to His family.”

Muhammad’s kindness to animals was remarkable for the social context of his upbringing. The historian Montgomery Watt cites an instance of Muhammed posting sentries to ensure that a female dog with newborn puppies was not disturbed by his army travelling to Mecca in the year 630.

“There is no man who kills [even] a sparrow or anything smaller…but Allah will question him about it [on the judgement day],” and “Whoever is kind to the creatures of God is kind to himself.”

“The Quran clearly outlines our responsibilities towards the animal kingdom, testing cosmetics and ingredients on animals is inhumane, and I speak from personal experience in my role as a pharmacologist many years ago. For the sake of personal vanity, do we really want the blood of innocent animals on our conscience?”

For more information on HCS and BUAV visit
For further articles by Dr Mah Hussain-Gambles, visit