Rohto Pharmaceutical, best known in Japan and around the world for brands like Rohto eye drops, Sunplay sunscreen and LipIce lip balms, announced in December 2015 that they will continue to use animal testing for their cosmetic products, in a response to Cruelty Free Beauty, a campaign body run by three animal rights groups in Japan.
Despite its name, Rohto Pharmaceuticals is actually a major cosmetics brand and was the third highest seller of cosmetics in Japan in 2014. In the same year, cosmetics made up 67% of their sales.
Despite the fact that cosmetic animal testing is increasingly becoming banned around the world, thanks to strong consumer demands, Rohto Pharmaceuticals refused to participate in discussions with Cruelty Free Beauty on their future directions regarding cosmetic animal testing in September 2015. They later made clear their intention to continue pharmaceutical applications which require animal testing.
Despite Japanese big brand companies like Shiseido and Kao already publicizing their ethical decision to stop animal testing -even if that meant abandoning developments for future new ingredients- Rohto Pharmaceuticals are choosing profit over ethics and proclaiming they will not abandon animal testing.
But would consumers still choose to buy their products if they knew the truth about animal testing?