Landmark EU Ruling: Animal-Tested Cosmetic Ingredients Not Banned Per Se
This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet
Firms cannot use safety data derived from third-country animal testing to substantiate product safety in accordance with the European Cosmetics Regulation, but such testing does not in itself constitute a violation of the EU’s animal-testing ban. It may be more challenging to compile required safety-assessment reports, but companies don’t necessarily have to choose between the EU and emerging markets such as China.
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The Cosmetic Products Regulation’s “once groundbreaking” ban is now worthless, says PETA, which supported Symrise in two cases challenging animal testing required by the European Chemicals Agency for cosmetics-only ingredients under REACH. Cruelty Free Europe, the European Federation for Cosmetic Ingredients, and Unilever also intervened on Symrise’s behalf.
Canada’s prohibitions on cosmetic animal testing enter into force in December, largely in line with EU, California and other bans around the globe, but with some notable distinctions. “Now it's really time to increase the pressure in the US – action can't be far behind,” says Brandi Halls, chief ethics officer at Lush Cosmetics, North America.
The proposed bill in the US Senate could be seen as slightly friendlier to the cosmetics industry when it comes to continued use of animal testing data in limited, exempted contexts, compared with similar state laws enacted of late. But the federal bill includes stiffer penalties, addresses “cruelty free” labeling, and seeks to spur FDA acceptance of alternative test methods, a key objective for stakeholders overall.