EU bans all animal testing for cosmetics

Hail ladies, gentlemen and those who have yet to make up their minds: you may have seen news that today the EU has banned testing on animals for cosmetics.  Hurrah!  Happy bunnies all round.

But knowing the size and complexity of the cosmetics industry and the glacial stealth of EU legislation, what does today’s announcement really mean?

Let’s begin at the beginning, in 2004 a ban came into force across the European Union which prevented the testing of finished cosmetic products on animals.  This was the first phase in a long term process which would see the elimination of cosmetic animal testing within the EU.

The second phase came into force in March 2009, and prohibited the testing of individual cosmetic ingredients and their combinations on animals.  Also in March 2009, (for they can multitask), was the first phase of a ban on marketing such products across the EU.

The only exemptions to the 2009 ban were marketing of products which had been tested on animals for specific health effects – “repeated dose toxicity”, “reproductive toxicity” and “toxico-kinetics”.

As of today, a cosmetics company can’t market products which are tested on animals; even for those three effects listed above.

So: a cosmetics company based inside the EU can’t test it’s finished products or ingredients on animals.  Neither can it market products which are tested on animals and shipped in from outside the EU.

Ta da! simples 🙂

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