Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Consumers Misunderstand “Cruelty-Free” Labeled Products, MU, Oregon Researchers Find

29.03.2012
Researchers say a legal definition is needed to protect consumers

Based on a recent study, University of Missouri and Oregon researchers believe a legal definition for what constitutes “cruelty-free” labeled products should be determined and manufacturers should be required to abide by the legal use of the label.

Many consumers intentionally buy products manufactured in ways that do not exploit child labor or cause minimal harm to animals or the environment. Many businesses, such as shampoo, cosmetic, fragrance and pharmaceutical companies, use the term cruelty-free to attract buyers, giving consumers the impression that no animal testing was used while manufacturing and testing the products. However, that is not always the case.

“Because there is no legal standard for what is and isn’t cruelty-free, consumers are vulnerable to deceptive advertising,” said Joonghwa Lee, a doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. “A company may claim their product is cruelty-free, but there still may be some animal testing done somewhere along the manufacturing process. This could lead to consumers being tricked into buying products that they do not support.”

During the study, Lee and lead author Kim Sheehan, a professor in the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, conducted an online survey asking participants about their knowledge of cruelty-free labeled products. The participants were then given information from a New York Times article describing the ambiguous nature of cruelty-free labeled products.

“Participants in our study who recognized the term cruelty-free indicated that they would be more likely to buy products that were cruelty-free and they had much more positive attitudes toward brands that advertised themselves as cruelty-free,” Lee said. “However, once the participants learned the wide range of definitions that exist for cruelty-free products, they found using the cruelty-free designation to be less socially responsible and less safe than they did before learning that information.”

Sheehan and Lee say their findings are concerning in regard to consumer protection. They say that because they have shown that consumers are willing to spend money on products that are cruelty-free, even if they don’t understand that those products aren’t always completely free of animal testing, the door is opened for product unethical business and advertising practices. Sheehan and Lee believe there should be a legal definition for what constitutes a cruelty-free product to help protect consumers.

“Our study shows that consumers rely on their own personal moral values to make decisions,” Sheehan said. “If the product information consumers receive is misleading, then they are not able to make important decisions in ways that they would consider morally correct. Creating a legal standard to define terms like cruelty-free will aid consumers in making the best decisions for themselves and their families.”

This study was presented at the American Academy of Advertising 2012 Annual Conference.

Nathan Hurst | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.missouri.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>