The Cruelty-Free Review

A review of compassionate products, foods, and recipes

Victory!

on February 14, 2013
This little guy applauds the EU ban.

This little guy applauds the EU ban.

It’s been a long time coming, but it has finally happened- The European Union has banned the import and sale of all animal-tested cosmetics! From the Opposing Views article:

After over 20 years of effort and delays, animals will no longer be used to test makeup, skin care products and other products in the European Union. The European Coalition to End Animal Experiments has succeeded in banning the use of animals in cosmetics testing in all member countries of the EU. We all celebrate with them!

 

As of March 11, 2013, the EU will ban the import and sale of animal-tested cosmetic products (including ingredients) for all member states. From this date forward, anyone selling new cosmetic products and ingredients in the European Union will not be allowed to test them on animals anywhere in the world, the Nydailynews.com reports.

 

Under the new rules, all personal care products, from high-end to drugstore brands, not only cannot be tested on animals, but neither can any of a given products’ ingredients, according to mnn.com. All toiletries and beauty products, from skin cream to toothpaste, will be affected.

 

Cosmetics will still be tested for safety by the companies that produce them, but using agreed-upon methods that do not involve animals.

 

Chief Executive of Cruelty Free International Michelle Thew said: “This is truly an historic event and the culmination of over 20 years of campaigning. Now we will apply our determination and vision on a global stage to ensure that the rest of the world follows this lead.”

 

This victory was largely due to the support of the new European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy Tonio Borg. The ECEAU states, “The former European Commissioner in charge of the EU’s cosmetics regulations had been considering recommendations to delay or weaken the ban, allowing the cosmetics industry to continue testing cosmetic products and ingredients on animals until they could find alternative methods, but it went through, thanks to Borg’s urging.”

 

The ban has been planned since 2009, but animal-testing campaigners feared a delay to the decision. EU Commissioner Tonio Borg wrote an open letter informing them that the ban is due to go ahead as proposed, and stating that he was “not planning to propose a postponement or derogation to the ban.”

 

The European Coalition to End Animal Experiments announced that its next goal is to end the use of animals in scientific experiments, stating that 12 million animals a year are used in Europe for this purpose, according to mnn.com.

 

OTHER AREAS OF THE WORLD

 

ISRAEL

 

On January 1, 2013, Israel banned the import, sale, and marketing of animal-tested cosmetics, toiletries, and household cleaners. In 2007, the Israeli government had banned the use of animals to test personal-care and household products within the country. In the new law, which came into effect January 1, 2013, lawmakers have blocked products that have been tested on animals in other countries from even crossing Israel’s border,

 

INDIA

 

At the urging of Maneka Gandhi and Indian activists, India is currently revising its method of safety testing for cosmetics and it is hoped all animal testing will be banned. Indian Drug Control General Dr. Singh recently stated, “If animal testing of cosmetics isn’t mandatory by either the US FDA or the EU, it seems unnecessary for India to have them at all.”

 

Ms. Gandhi explained that India would lose tremendous revenue if the European countries are unable to purchase cosmetics from India because of its failure to comply with the new EU anti-cruelty laws, which prohibit subjecting innocent animals to unnecessary pain and suffering to test products.

 

CHINA

 

One of the world’s largest markets, China still demands animal testing as a safety precaution, according to mnn.com. PETA states that Chinese companies are required by law to pay for testing before some cosmetics can be marketed to the public. PETA is working in Beijing, training scientists to test cosmetics with alternative methods.

This is such a huge leap forward in animal welfare and I can only hope that other countries follow suit.

Don’t go running out to buy that favorite European brand you abandoned years ago just yet. Despite laws against testing in the EU, some companies will still sell their products in countries like China, which require animal testing. And since the testing is conducted in China it falls outside the jurisdiction of the EU law. And to make matters worse the company has to pay for their own animal testing. That’s why companies like Avon, May Kay and Estee Lauder fell out of favor with PETA last year. Late last year Urban Decay, a popular cruelty-free company with many vegan cosmetic options, experienced first-hand the disappointment from consumers when they announced they were going to sell in China. After the backlash they quickly backed off from that decision and said they would not sell in China until the mandatory animal testing policies were outlawed. Hopefully countries like China will take a page from India and realize that they could suffer a huge blow in revenue if they fail to comply with the new laws and can’t sell in any EU country. Thankfully they are amenable to learning about alternatives to animal-testing. If you are in doubt as to whether a brand is or isn’t tested on animals, refer to Leaping Bunny.org. You can trust them to list only companies that do not test products on animals in any country.

I wonder how this will affect US companies. Johnson and Johnson, Unilever, and SC Johnson are some of the biggest companies that still conduct animal testing and I can only imagine that they will take a huge financial hit if they can no longer sell in Europe. I hope this will be the catalyst that causes them to reconsider their stance on animal testing.

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2 responses to “Victory!

  1. Hooray! These are some significant successes! Of course there will always be more work to do, and further improvements to make, but this still calls for celebration. 🙂

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