The key ingredient in some beauty products: rooster

In light of a Swedish Radio report revealing that roosters are providing one of the key ingredients for certain skin creams and cosmetics, the Swedish Board of Agriculture has said it will investigate the issue.

According to the program Kaliber, the cosmetics industry is using Swedish-raised roosters as an ingredient to make anti-wrinkle creams and lip-enlargement products.

One of the new favorite substances for plumping up the lips and smoothing away wrinkles is hyaluronic acid, found in the roosters' red comb. Between 10,000 and 20,000 roosters are raised in Sweden each year to be turned into lip-enhancing cosmetics. The cocks are slaughtered after 28 weeks, and the rest of the body is used to produce biogas or turned into food for Danish minks.

The Swedish Board of Agriculture, responsible for animal welfare, was not aware of this practice, but says that there is a difference between animal testing and making products from animals. EU law forbids testing cosmetics and hygiene products on animals, but the latter is not forbidden.

However, Viveka Hillegaart, head of the Board's division that deals with laboratory animals, tells Swedish Radio that they will investigate further how Sweden looks upon the question of rooster combs being turned into cosmetics.

Bohus Biotech is a company that makes products from rooster combs. The CEO, Daniel Ogbonnaya told Kaliber that the company only uses a small portion of its hyaluronic acid to make beauty products.

"People also eat rooster. And people raise salmon to eat it, too. So I don't understand the criticism," he said.