EU Banning Animal-Tested Cosmetics

The EU is banning cosmetics with animal-tested ingredients. The union regulators have also pledged to put their efforts toward getting other parts of the world to accept alternatives as well.

The European Union already banned testing finished cosmetic products on animals in 2004. A ban is already in place for animal-tested ingredients, but extensive lobbying by major cosmetics manufacturers allowed some effects like allergies and cancer to still be tested if there is no other substitute.

Tonio Borg, the EU commissioner for health an consumer policy, stated that the ban will take effect immediately. Borg added that the animal-tested ingredient ban also “gives an important signal on the value the Europe attaches to animal welfare.”

Animal rights groups quickly voiced their support for the measure, though Cosmetics Europe, a trade body that represents the EU’s industry, called the ban “a brake on innovation.”

Current finished products will not be affected by the ban. However, no new products whose ingredients have been tested on animals will be allowed. Humane Society International was thrilled with the EU’s complete ban on animal-tested products. The group called the ban a major step in stopping the suffering of animals.

The rights group also called the European Union “the world’s largest cruelty-free cosmetics market.” The group added that it hopes the EU’s example will be replicated by the global cosmetics industry. Colin Mackay, a spokesman for Cosmetics Europe, stated, “Europe’s idea is to put more pressure on other parts of the world to end animal testing, but the science doesn’t match that political timetable.”

He added that the most likely outcome of the animal testing ban on cosmetics will be “that consumers in Europe won’t have access to new products because we can’t ensure that some ingredients will be safe without access to suitable and adequate testing.”

L’Oreal, a major cosmetics company based in France, has said that it will respect the ban. The company added it will stop selling finished products in the region “with an ingredient that was tested on animals.” While L’Oreal will cooperate, the ban could complicate trade relations with countries like China.

China currently demands animal testing in order to market cosmetics. US-based company Estee Lauder responded by saying it does not test any products or ingredients on animals. The company added it is also increasing its efforts to gain global acceptance for testing that doesn’t rely on animals.

Do you think the EU’s full ban on animal-tested cosmetics is a smart move?

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