Aquafresh (GlaxoSmithKline)

Last Updated: June 1, 2022

How Ethical Is Aquafresh (GlaxoSmithKline)?

Make a positive impact by supporting companies with the same values and ethics as what matters most to you. To navigate and find ethical brands, here’s a summary of Aquafresh’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is Aquafresh cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below to learn more about Aquafresh’s policies.
Aquafresh is NOT Cruelty-Free. Aquafresh engages in animal testing by allowing its products or new ingredients to be animal-tested.

Aquafresh is also owned by GlaxoSmithKline, a parent corporation that does engage in animal testing.
Aquafresh claims their toothpastes are free of animal-derived ingredients, but because Aquafresh engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t classify anything sold or produced by Aquafresh to be vegan.

Aquafresh (GlaxoSmithKline)

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Aquafresh is NOT Cruelty-Free!

Aquafresh allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law.

In addition, Aquafresh is owned by GlaxoSmithKline, a parent corporation that isn’t cruelty-free.

Aquafresh’s Animal Testing Policy

While researching to learn more about Aquafresh’s cruelty-free status, I couldn’t find the brand’s official animal testing policy anywhere on its website.

So I reached out to Aquafresh to ask for more information about their animal testing policy. More specifically, I wanted to know if they commission or allow others to test their products/ingredients on animals, including when required by law.

And Aquafresh responded by saying:

“We are pleased to respond to your inquiry regarding our policies on animal testing. We appreciate and understand your concerns in this important matter.

We are dedicated to developing novel therapeutic agents and drugs for use in the prevention, management and cure of human ailments and diseases.

However, since is an OTC (over-the-counter) organization, most of the products we market are unlikely to be new chemical entities. Most of our products’ ingredients have a well-established medicinal use with recognized efficacy and an acceptable level of safety as detailed in published literature. Therefore, animal testing would be largely unnecessary.

Our policy is not to conduct animal tests unless we are developing new products and are required by regulatory authorities to substantiate product safety using new ingredients whose safety has not been established. Then, animal tests would only be undertaken to ascertain that the product has therapeutic benefits and there was no alternative to animal tests.

We support and participate in an ongoing program to develop alternatives to the use of animals in safety testing, and ensure the humane treatment of laboratory animals. We are alert to all developments and are eager to implement alternative testing that is accepted by scientific, legal and regulatory experts.

In summary, we are very sensitive to this issue. We take seriously our obligation to respect animal life and will continue to support efforts to develop alternative testing methods.”

Their email response had a signature from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) which means Aquafresh is owned by GSK.

As a result, Aquafresh has the same animal testing policy as GSK where both Aquafresh and GSK state they allow their new products to be tested on animals as required by regulatory authorities to substantiate product safety when using new ingredients.

Cruelty-Free Policies

At ethical elephant, we always assess a company’s cruelty-free policy using our Cruelty-Free Checklist. This ensures no animal testing was performed by the brand itself, its suppliers, and by any third parties, including when required by law.

See below for our complete cruelty-free checklist. Since Aquafresh already does not meet a couple of our criteria, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.

Aquafresh states their new ingredients may be tested on animals and they also allow their products/ingredients to be tested on animals when required by law.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is Aquafresh Cruelty-Free?

To sum up, Aquafresh and its parent company, GlaxoSmithKline allows their new products/ingredients to be tested on animals when required by law. Therefore, we would NOT consider Aquafresh to be a cruelty-free brand.

Currently, Aquafresh is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.

Is Aquafresh Certified Cruelty-Free?

Aquafresh is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.

Because Aquafresh is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is looking into or substantiating Aquafresh’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.

Is Aquafresh Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?

Yes. Aquafresh is owned by GlaxoSmithKline, a parent corporation that still engages in animal testing in 2022.

Some cruelty-free consumers may choose to purchase and support cruelty-free brands owned by animal-tested parent corporations as they hope it will convince the parent company to go cruelty-free eventually.

But in this case, Aquafresh is NOT cruelty-free and neither is its parent corporation, GlaxoSmithKline.

Is Aquafresh Vegan?

Interestingly, while Aquafresh doesn’t market their toothpaste as “vegan”, Aquafresh states on their FAQ page that none of their products contain animal derivatives.

See below for a screenshot of what’s currently stated on Aquafresh’s website:

Is Aquafresh Toothpaste Vegan?

However, since we do not consider Aquafresh to be cruelty-free as their products are tested on animals when required by law, we also wouldn’t consider anything sold or manufactured by Aquafresh to be vegan.

In order for products to be considered vegan by ethical elephant’s standards, the products and their ingredients must not be tested on animals anywhere in the world. Also, they must not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.

Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Aquafresh

Looking to switch to cruelty-free toothpastes? Here are some cruelty-free brands to check out:

Find a complete guide to vegan toothpastes, here.

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