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.
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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.
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OTHER AREAS OF THE WORLD
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,
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.
One of the world's largest markets, China still demands animal testing as a safety precaution, according to mmn.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.
India Ready to Ban Animal-Testing of Cosmetics
For an overview on the different activities to elaborate alternative testing methods: http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/sectors/cosmetics/animal-testing/index_en.htm