Animal cosmetics testing is still happening despite bans


In 1998, the U.K. was the first country to ban animal testing for cosmetics products and their ingredients. In 2007, Israel prohibited animals from testing cosmetics, while India banned cosmetic animal testing in 2014. In 2019, Australia passed a bill that forbids the testing of new chemicals on animals to be used for cosmetics purposes.

Today, there are more than forty countries that have passed laws to limit or ban cosmetics animal testing, including several states in Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, the U.K., Switzerland, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Iceland, Norway, and every country in the European Union.

However, despite bans that outlawed such testing years ago, a new analysis has revealed that hundreds of cosmetic products sold in the U.K. and Europe still contain ingredients that have been tested on animals. Banned tests were made on ingredients used in products, including lipsticks, sunscreen, moisturizers, and hair conditioner, with over 100 separate experiments executed on rabbits and mice.

Thomas Hartung, an animal testing alternative expert at Johns Hopkins University and one of the analysis authors, points out that “European customers can’t assume the products they buy are not tested on animals. Moreover, even products labeled as not tested on animals may contain some ingredients that are tested on animals.”

Two sets of competing legislation are at the core of this issue. First, the ban on animal testing of cosmetic ingredients in the E.U. came into force in 2009. Yet, another law regulating chemicals was introduced in 2007, forcing companies to identify and manage the risks associated with chemicals they manufacture and market in the E.U. to guarantee worker safety. According to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), this can include chemicals manufactured exclusively for use in cosmetics, obscuring the animal testing ban for cosmetic ingredients.

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Intelligent Living, 16 September 2021