Sensodyne (GlaxoSmithKline)

Last Updated: September 29, 2022

How Ethical Is Sensodyne (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 Sensodyne’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

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

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

Sensodyne (GlaxoSmithKline)

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Sensodyne is NOT Cruelty-Free!

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

In addition, Sensodyne is owned by GlaxoSmithKline, a parent company that is NOT cruelty-free.

Sensodyne’s Animal Testing Policy

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

So I reached out to Sensodyne 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 selling in countries that require animal testing (like in mainland China).

And Sensodyne 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.”

Based on their response, Sensodyne states they conduct animal tests when required by regulatory authorities.

Truly cruelty-free brands will never allow their products or ingredients to be tested on animals. Cruelty-free companies have a policy where if the law requires them to test on animals then they will refuse to sell their products under those conditions.

For example, imported cosmetics sold in stores in mainland China are required by Chinese laws to be tested on animals upon registration. Therefore, truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell in China in order to remain committed to their no animal testing policy.

Unfortunately, Sensodyne states they will allow their products and ingredients to be tested on animals if the law requires it. For those reasons, Sensodyne is NOT cruelty-free.

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 Sensodyne allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is Sensodyne Certified Cruelty-Free?

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

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

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

Yes. Sensodyne is owned by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), 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 become cruelty-free.

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

Is Sensodyne Cruelty-Free?

To sum up, Sensodyne allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law. Therefore, we would NOT consider Sensodyne to be a cruelty-free brand.

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

Is Sensodyne Vegan?

Sensodyne claims some of its toothpaste is “vegan” and does not contain animal products or animal-derived products, but because Sensodyne engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t classify anything sold or produced by Sensodyne 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 Sensodyne

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

Or check out our Guide to Cruelty-Free & Vegan Toothpaste!

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