How international law brought back animal testing of cosmetics

Call it "the global squeeze." And it's not the kind of squeeze a company takes kindly to. Caught between conflicting ethical and legal demands imposed by an increasingly global marketplace, companies may find that they are vilified in one country merely because they have conformed to the rules of another.

Consider the case of three leading cosmetics companies: Avon Products Inc., The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., and Mary Kay Inc. Back in the 1980s, they began advertising that they didn't use animals to test their products. They trained their sales staffs to promote their "cruelty-free" policies, and they were proudly listed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as companies that do not test on animals.

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