New EU Rule Does NOT Mean Cosmetics must be Tested on Animals

Sep 2, 2020

A recent article online regarding the new EU ruling on animal testing of cosmetic ingredients and products has created an uproar on social media. However, is the article all it seems? 

The article – which you can find here – states that the new EU rule says cosmetics MUST be tested on animals despite the chemicals being used in hundred of ‘cruelty-free’ products. 

However, the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association, a body that represents all types of companies involved in making, supplying and selling cosmetics and personal care products, has confirmed that the ruling does not change anything about the stringent ban on animal testing. 

The latest ruling actually confirms the current EU guidance, which does not weaken the animal testing ban. 

Dr Emma Meredith, Director-General of CTPA, says: “It is important to stress that there is no opportunity for cosmetics manufacturers to circumvent the EU ban on animal testing and the recent ECHA Board of Appeal decisions do not override the important Cosmetics Regulation bans on animal testing.  These strict bans will remain in effect in the UK following Brexit and have the full support of the UK cosmetics industry.”

In the late ’90s, the UK banned the testing of cosmetic products on animals after a voluntary initiative by the industry that led to all licenses for testing cosmetics products to stop.
In 2003, the full ban on testing cosmetic products or ingredients on animals, anywhere in the world, and then selling them within the UK and EU, came into effect. 

Alongside the EU Cosmetics Regulation – a law to ensure that cosmetic products in the UK and EU are safe – the ingredients in cosmetics are also subject to other chemical safety laws. REACH is one of these laws. Its main aim is to ensure the safety of workers who might be exposed to chemicals, and the environment. Unfortunately, REACH regulations sometimes requires substances to be tested on animals.

A huge amount of work has been done in the past by the cosmetics industry and EU officials to ensure that REACH does not undermine the strict animal testing ban in place for cosmetics.
The EU confirms that if substances are only used for cosmetics, then even testing for REACH purposes is banned when this testing relates to the safety of the cosmetic product for the person who uses it. 

The recent EU ruling confirms this guidance because the testing relates to worker safety, which is not part of the Cosmetics Regulation. 

 You can find further information on the ban on animal testing via the CTPA website

Source: CTPA

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