Delivering Safe and Effective Products to the Global Marketplace
Health of consumers around the world, and help them clean and care for their homes and clothing, is the mission of the Colgate-Palmolive Company. Our globally recognized brand names such as Colgate, Palmolive, Ajax, Mennen, Protex, Suavitel and Soupline are used by millions of people every day in more than 200 countries around the world.
Colgate-Palmolive pledges to all our consumers that they can use our products secure in the knowledge that these products are safe. We have a responsibility to assure that every product we sell has been evaluated thoroughly for both its intended use as well as for instances of accidental misuse. We also believe that our consumers expect that Colgate-Palmolive will subject its products to rigorous safety evaluations before we bring them to the marketplace.
At the same time, we are committed to work toward the elimination of laboratory safety testing using animals. In fact, in 1999 we declared a voluntary moratorium on all animal testing of Colgate’s adult Personal Care Products and the ingredients used in these products. (See facing page for details.) Since then, our commitment to this moratorium has continued to drive significant progress in this area. Currently, over 99 percent of internal requests for safety assessments of our products are addressed by using available databases and non-animal alternatives. We are also committing more than a million dollars annually toward the development, validation, and scientific and regulatory acceptance of alternative non-animal methods of product safety research.
Our personal commitment to Colgate-Palmolive’s goal of eliminating all animal testing is stronger than ever. We will continue our unwavering efforts toward achieving this goal, while remaining steadfast in our commitment to the highest standards of product safety for our consumers.
COLGATE-PALMOLIVE PRODUCT SAFETY RESEARCH POLICY: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
We are committed to work toward the elimination of laboratory safety testing using animals.
In 1999, we declared a voluntary moratorium on all animal testing of our adult Personal Care Products and the ingredients used in these products. This moratorium remains in effect worldwide.
Currently, over 99 percent of internal requests for safety assessment of our products are addressed by using available databases and non-animal alternatives.
Animal testing is only conducted where specifically required by regulatory agencies or where alternative testing methods are unavailable to ensure the safety of our products. In such limited instances, the tests are conducted only at contract testing facilities that meet both government standards and the more rigorous requirements established by Colgate with input from animal welfare groups.
On an annual basis, we commit more than a million dollars toward the development, validation, and scientific and regulatory acceptance of alternative non-animal methods of product safety research.
Many of Colgate’s own scientists are actively involved in research to develop and utilize non-animal test methods.
Colgate’s global presence affords us a unique opportunity to help foster acceptance of non-animal alternatives by regulatory agencies around the world.
We are committed to responding openly to the issues and questions related to product safety research and animal laboratory testing, and to sharing this information with all parties interested in contributing to further reductions in the use of animals.
OUR MORATORIUM ON ALL ANIMAL TESTING OF ADULT PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS
After careful study by our safety experts, early in 1999 Colgate declared a voluntary moratorium on all animal testing of Colgate’s Personal Care Products designed for adults, and the ingredients used in those products. Advances in in-vitro testing alternatives, coupled with the safety data available for the ingredients regularly used in these products, make it possible to institute this moratorium while still insuring the safety of our consumers and employees. This decision affects the following product categories: underarm deodorants; hair shampoos; hair conditioners and styling aids; men’s and women’s fragrances; after-shave lotions; men’s and women’s talcs; shaving cream; bar soaps; liquid soaps and shower gels. Products classified as drugs or pharmaceuticals, those products subject to specific regulatory requirements and products that are intended for oral application or use, are excluded from this moratorium.
We feel that this moratorium is a positive step forward. However, it is necessary to maintain the option of using animal tests for this category when we cannot find other appropriate means to insure the safety of our consumers and our people.
Colgate-Palmolive’s Approach to Assuring Product Safety for Our Consumers Around the World
At Colgate-Palmolive, the safety of our consumers is our first and greatest concern. We manufacture and sell a wide range of consumer products for oral care, personal care and home care that are sold in over 200 countries around the world. We believe that the safety of these products is an ethical obligation. Our Company is committed to ensuring that consumers can trust Colgate products for their safety, quality and superior performance, and that the Colgate people who makes these products, are never put at risk.
HOW DOES COLGATE ENSURE THAT ITS PRODUCTS ARE SAFE?
All of the products that we manufacture and sell are subjected to rigorous safety evaluations long before they ever reach the store shelf. From the time that a product first begins its development cycle, all of its ingredients, their interactions and their effects for both intended use and accidental misuse are assessed to assure that the product is safe. After determining if ingredients are safe for use in a Colgate product, our scientists then examine everything about the product, including its efficacy and any potential adverse effects of usage. With this knowledge, the scientists also develop the appropriate instructions for use found on the label of a finished product.
Colgate Standards and Government Standards
Before testing even begins, Colgate’s scientists have a responsibility to find all the information they can about the ingredients they are considering for inclusion in a product. They also ensure that the ingredients meet our Company’s internally established safety standards. Our scientists then review all regulatory requirements to be sure that the product they are formulating meets government compliance guidelines.
The products we sell, and the safety testing we conduct, are highly regulated by laws and government agencies in nearly all countries around the world. Many of our products are developed for regional or global distribution. If standards in a particular country fall below those of Colgate-Palmolive, we adhere to our own stricter guidelines. Alternatively, where standards are different — or more evaluation is requested by a governing body — Colgate undertakes the necessary tests to insure compliance.
Our goal is to meet these safety requirements whenever possible through the use of existing data or tests that don’t put humans or animals at risk.
Currently, over 99 percent of internal requests for safety assessment of our products are addressed by using available databases and non-animal alternatives, thus avoiding the need for testing these finished products on animals. Unfortunately, however, there are conditions under which we must test. There are government regulations in the United States and in many other countries that, as a condition of sale, specifically require animal testing be conducted to establish proof that a product is safe, and to determine labeling instructions. However, when Colgate is faced with these regulatory requirements, we always seek first to convince the regulatory agency to accept an approach not requiring animals. Colgate has achieved a number of successes through such discussions. There are also circumstances where safety demonstrations are necessary, but scientifically recognized alternatives to animal testing do not yet exist. However, our goal is to continually search for alternatives.
OUR USE OF ALTERNATIVE TESTING METHODS
Extensive historical data is often available to Colgate’s researchers when they begin to evaluate the safety of ingredients for inclusion in a new product. Our scientists have access to governmental, independent agency, company, industry and organizational information from studies already conducted utilizing both animal and non-animal tests. As a result, in many instances, we can avoid retesting because data already exists to prove efficacy and safety.
In-vitro testing involves the use of cell culture or tissue culture test systems. Colgate has developed or provided support for the development of a variety of these non-animal and non-human alternatives for evaluating new products. For instance, Colgate scientists have developed an artificial mouth that simulates the dynamics of the human mouth. This has contributed to a significant reduction in our testing with animals in laboratory settings. Additionally, we employ cell-culture models that can predict the effects of ingredients in humans without the need to test on animals.
Human testing is critically important to product safety research for Colgate’s new products. These studies help Colgate scientists gain the knowledge needed to protect human health and safety and to learn, for example, exactly how a toothpaste performs in the mouth or how a soap behaves on the skin. These tests are strictly regulated by government and industry standards to assure the safety of participants.
OUR POLICIES LIMITING ANIMAL TESTING
Very often, some promising new ingredients and materials that offer important health or other benefits are identified, which have not been evaluated to determine their safety or efficacy. While some non-animal testing methods have proven successful in predicting safety, they are still not completely sufficient to assure all aspects of product safety and thus replace all testing on living organisms. Also, many governments continue to require information from animal tests before a product can be introduced. At Colgate, however, animal testing is only conducted after all other options have been exhausted. Prior to conducting tests with animals, reasonable assurances must also be provided that new scientific knowledge will be gained to benefit the health and welfare of either humans or animals. When animal tests are performed, they are always planned to involve only the minimum number of animals required to obtain scientifically meaningful results or to comply with regulatory mandates. All of our animal testing is conducted at outside laboratories, but under Colgate supervision. No animal testing is done in-house. Contract laboratory testing is governed by a strict set of Colgate- developed guidelines, which meet or exceed legislated standards. We insist that testing procedures and practices be governed by the highest consideration for humanitarian ideals coupled with technical professionalism. With regard to the handling and care of animals, no procedure is undertaken which could be expected to inflict undue pain or distress. Anesthesia is used where appropriate to insure animal comfort. Colgate does not, and will not in the future, use either the standard Draize eye irritation test or the Classic LD 50 test, except in those instances where explicitly required by a regulatory authority. Even in these cases, our policy is to challenge this requirement and seek access to the regulatory officials to present alternative means for assessing the safety of the product.
OUR COMMITMENT TO RESEARCH AND ACCEPTANCE OF ALTERNATIVES
Since 1982, Colgate has undertaken a broad program dedicated to advancing the development of scientifically acceptable and properly validated alternatives, which will remove the need for governmental requirements to carry out any research with animals. We continually strive to promote, advocate and participate in activities that encourage independent validation and acceptance of these new methods by regulatory agencies. Toward that end, Colgate is working actively with a wide variety of organizations, including industry associations, governments and other companies who share our goal of completely eliminating animal testing.
Colgate funds research and teaching fellowships devoted specifically to the search for alternatives and the training of scientists in the use of alternative methods. These include student and postdoctoral training grants, as well as funding to support scientific research programs directed toward the development and validation of new non-animal alternatives. Additionally, Colgate-Palmolive executives and scientists actively participate in a number of collaborative international initiatives to uncover new scientific advances and to achieve regulatory acceptance of proven alternatives. We believe that our practice of sharing the results of our alternative research with other work companies and government agencies is an important contribution toward helping others achieve similar success in the use of proven alternatives.
OUR COMMITMENT TO CHALLENGE UNNECESSARY GOVERNMENT REQUIREMENTS
Colgate’s global presence affords us a unique opportunity to help foster acceptance of non-animal alternatives by regulatory agencies around the world. Many overseas health and safety agencies persist in requiring unnecessary or inappropriate animal tests. Frequently these requirements persist because local regulators lack awareness of alternatives or up-to-date information about their validation. In some cases, regulators can be persuaded to accept existing safety data prepared for other authorities, rather than require new animal tests. Whenever possible we will work with other companies and organizations toward the elimination of these testing requirements. Colgate recognizes that we will not always persuade regulators to accept alternative safety assurances. However, as part of our commitment to the elimination of animal testing, our policy is to bring such scientifically valid alternatives to the attention of regulators and urge their acceptance.
OUR COMMITMENT TO UTILIZING SCREENING MECHANISMS
Although alternative-to-animal test methods have not yet been developed to the stage where they can completely replace animal testing, there are situations in which Colgate and others use these tests to screen new materials for safety and efficacy, which contributes to significant reductions in animal use. Also, when a number of product or ingredient options are being considered, the alternative screening tests can be used to select the safest and most effective options so that if animal testing is required, it does not need to be conducted on all the options, but only on the most promising ones. In some cases, however, screening tests can give a high enough level of comfort to allow us to move directly into human safety clinical studies without conducting any animal tests.
OUR POLICY OF OPENNESS
We are committed to responding openly to the issues and questions related to product safety research and animal laboratory testing, to sharing this information with all parties – individuals, organizations, other companies and government agencies – interested in contributing to further reductions in the use of animals, and particularly with those who share our goals in developing and implementing effective alternative testing and validation methods.